Shakey Graves – And the War Came (Rating 4 out of 5)

shakey2It really isn’t fair for one person to be blessed with this much talent.  Singer Songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia, also known as his nomme de plume Shakey Graves, is an accomplished musician known for his one man band concerts where he plays guitar and his patented suitcase drum at the same time, and in his spare time is an accredited  actor having a recurring role on the television series Friday Night Lights.

With his sophomore release And the War Came, Shakey takes his Hobo Folk-Blues sound to the next level with eleven songs that are disparate in style, but cohesive in the pop fairy dusting that is generously applied to each song. His voice is eerie-angelic if that is possible with a tone that settles in perfectly with his guitar and kick drum. The guitar work is intricate and the overall vibe is so pleasant that each song seems to flow into the next one.

“Only Son” is bordering on jaw dropping, “Big Time Nashville Star” that features Esme Patterson is sparse and intoxicating, and “Call it Heaven” is a consistent closer that carries the melodic thread of the album quite nicely.

With an album this sparse, a dust bowl old timey sensibility could quite easily creep into the fabric of the songs, but it never does. The songs stand on their own, and the sheer force of personality carries the day.

Look for Shakey Graves to show up in the soundtracks of some of your favorite shows next year.