Tag Archives: Shakey Graves

David Ramirez

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

One Longfellow Square, Portland, Maine

I saw David Ramirez for the first time a year and a half ago opening for Shakey Graves at the State Theatre in Portland. I was drawn to him immediately and enjoyed the sparseness of a man with a guitar juxtaposed with the urgency and passion he demonstrated with his powerful, rich voice. I sadly missed him a year ago at One Longfellow Square (I had tickets, but unfortunately didn’t make it to the show), so was eager to see him again. Colin went to that show a year ago and David played with a full band, which just isn’t really how I want to see him (or so I told myself, since I missed him). I was very excited to learn that I’d be seeing his 2016 Bootleg Tour–just David and a guitar–and each show would be recorded and audience members would get a link to a download of the show the next day. Right up my alley. Add that this was at teeny, intimate One Longfellow Square, and I was pumped.

I got to see my dear friend Fiona who was visiting from Minneapolis after school and then drove down to meet Colin at OLS. He snagged us great seats in the second row and we took in the living room scene assembled on stage–an area lamp, table, some books, and framed picture of Billy Murray–that gave us the feeling of really being in David Ramirez’s living room.

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David Ramirez wowed with his incredibly powerful voice and honest lyrics. At some point in the show, it dawned on me that David is probably not the nicest guy in real life. There was a distracting woman sitting right behind us who responded loudly after each song. David would finish a song and she’d shout “yes!” (I forgot her other go-to responses) and then try to initiate a conversation with him in between songs. We get it,  you KNOW him! (WOW!) It was annoying, and I totally chuckled when David realized it was his friend in the crowd who kept making it about her (which it sadly became, at times). Etiquette tip–don’t be that girl. No one came to see you perform if you’re not the one on stage. When I said that to Colin after the show, he smiled at me and said “doesn’t he say as much in his songs?” Good point, Colin. I was especially glad to hear “The Bad Days” and “Harder to Lie” in person. 

I will say, though, that even though David’s songs and stage banter mostly make him seem like a guy struggling to feed his healthy ego, he ended his set with “Find the Light,” which was a welcome surprise and an about face from his general tone. The song starts with some warm wishes–“I wish upon you peace/I wish upon you grace/I wish for less of what you want and more of what you need.” I’m so glad I went, even if David Ramirez is probably not someone I’d want to chat with or go have a beer with after the show. His voice and songs are layered and beautiful. And we’re all just learning how to be ourselves anyhow, and he seems to do that with his music, which is a healthy way to grow, I think.

I just realized that Spotify has David providing commentary about every song on his newest album Fables, which is right up my alley! Going to go listen now.

xo,

bree

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Shakey Graves with David Ramirez

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

State Theatre, Portland, Maine

I saw Shakey Graves at the State Theatre a year and a half ago opening for The Devil Makes Three and was impressed. I knew Alejandro Rose-Garcia from his brief role on Friday Night Lights, and it’s great to see the buzz that’s grown around him that led to a sold out show last year at Port City Music Hall and a very full house of swooning fans last night when he headlined the State Theatre.

As I often do, I got to the State when doors opened and snagged a second row center spot for the show. I was very excited to see Austin’s David Ramirez open the show—98.9 WCLZ plays his song “The Bad Days,” which I love. I thought David was great—just a man, his powerful voice, honest lyrics, and an acoustic guitar. Right up my alley. I am listening to him right now.

David Ramirez

David Ramirez

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Shakey Graves took the stage and I was glad to see that people were enthusiastically there to support him and were singing along. The last time I saw him at the State, people didn’t seem to know him at all, so he’s come a long way quickly. He has a raspy, clear voice, plays guitar confidently, and brings a lot of energy with the kick drum. Check out “Roll the Bones,” which was the first Shakey Graves song I ever heard to get a sense of him if you don’t already know him. He was joined by a drummer and a guitarist for parts of the night, but Shakey can do it all on his own. He’s very comfortable in front of a crowd, too, and was at ease on stage and chatted with us warmly throughout the night. People were psyched to sing along with his best-known song, “Dearly Departed,” too. It was a fun show and I’ll definitely see him whenever he’s in town. Thanks to the State Theatre for hosting! Check out more pictures from the show below.

xo,

bree

Shakey Graves was all smiles last night at the State Theatre

Shakey Graves was all smiles last night at the State Theatre

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The Devil Makes Three with Shakey Graves

Saturday, November 23, 2013

State Theatre, Portland, Maine

I was so pumped for this show. I’ve been listening to country singer-songwriter Shakey Graves for a while now. I am not at all embarrassed to say that I first recognized Shakey Graves (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) from his role as “The Swede,” Julie’s summer crush at the pool on Friday Night Lights. That show was brilliant. Austin, Texas’ Shakey Graves (click here to learn of the origin of the moniker) is truly a one-man band. He has a beautifully raspy, yet perfectly clear voice. He masterfully plays finger picked electric guitar and percusses along with a kick drum fashioned out of an old suitcase all at once. I can’t successfully chew gum and walk at the same time, yet he can do all that. Color me impressed. Shakey Graves was super live. He has clearly developed his chops onstage and was at total ease and put on a great show. He joked that Maine’s like Texas because we like our beer and have guns in Maine, too. But, he added, Mainers can handle the cold better. He said he’d been to Maine before, but this was his first show here. I ran into some friends from Portland’s first-ever adult kickball league I played in, and my friend Paulie said about Shakey Graves, “He sure does make a lot of noise for one guy.” Yep. Really good noise. I promise. Listen to “Roll the Bones.” It will leave you wanting more.

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

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The Devil Makes Three is a bluegrass/rockabilly/Americana (wow, that was hard) trio out of Brattleboro, Vermont that had a loyal following in a very crowded State Theatre. I am quite used to seeing lots of bearded flannel-wearing men at shows in Maine, but this show took it to a new level. There was, however, the addition of a lot more folks in tie-dye with dread locks at this show. Everyone is clearly welcome at a TDM3 show—their music is diverse and appeals to a wide audience. I haven’t been around such a happy, dancing bunch at a show in a long while.

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Cooper McBean, Pete Bernhard, and Lucia Turino are The Devil Makes Three

Cooper McBean, Pete Bernhard, and Lucia Turino are The Devil Makes Three

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Pete Bernhard (guitar/lead vocals), Cooper McBean (guitar/banjo), and Lucia Turino (upright bass) of The Devil Makes Three are obviously great friends and have been playing together for a long while. I loved their energy on stage and the sideways smiles they sent to one another. They clearly love what they do, and that means something to the audience.

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According to their website, TDM3’s most recent album, I’m A Stranger Here, is “part heartbreak songs and part barnburners.” I totally agree. People in the crowd were bouncing around dancing during the beginning of their set and I was impressed to see so much dancing even though there was no percussionist on stage. TDM3’s sound was so rhythmic that I didn’t really notice the absence of a percussionist until after the show.

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"A Moment's Rest"

“A Moment’s Rest”

I particularly liked “The Bullet.” I appreciated Cooper’s tribute to Woody Guthrie when he pulled out his banjo that had “This machine annoys fascists” written in marker on the face. “Spinning Like a Top” stood out, too. They covered Doc Watson’s “Walk On Boy.” “Hallelu” was fun.  I noticed that I preferred (and this comes as no surprise as I love an acoustic singer-songwriter sound) TDM3’s “heartbreak songs.” The rest of the crowd, I think, preferred the barnburners. I loved when they pulled one of the guys from their road crew out on stage to play fiddle on “A Moment’s Rest.” TDM3 played a solid set and I particularly loved their great harmonies. A good time was definitely had by all. While we were all dancing inside, Mother Earth was busy outside snowing for the first time this season. It was an extra long drive home on slippery roads, but worth the drive.

xo,

bree

First real snow of the season!

First real snow of the season!

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