Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio

Shakey Graves performs "Dearly Departed" off the album And the War Came live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. (MPR)
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Shakey Graves - Only Son (Live on The Current)
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  • Shakey Graves - Only Son (Live on The Current) 05:01
  • Shakey Graves - Dearly Departed (Live on The Current) 04:28
  • Shakey Graves - As Long As You Love Me (Live on The Current) 03:26
  • Shakey Graves In-studio (full session + interview) 23:35

"Oh, that's what thumbs up means!" cackles Shakey Graves as he sits down on his red, mid-'70s Samonsite suitcase turned two-piece percussion set, ready to record live in The Current studio ahead of a gig at First Avenue.

Born Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Shakey Graves was an only son—queue the first song in his acoustic set—until age 10, when he was already convinced that he'd be his parents sole progeny. "On one level ['Only Son'] is very literal," Rose-Garcia says, "But it's also a larger analogy for trying to grow into relationships with people, specifically people of the opposite sex."

Off his third studio album, "Only Son"—And the War Came's second track—also serves as a transition for longtime fans of Shakey Graves. "That's sort of the jump-off point. From there on in the album it kind of shifts back and forth between older templates and newer stuff that I'm going for," says Shakey.

In theme and practice, And the War Came opened doors to new and different types of collaborations. For example, Shakey getting drunk with his father for the first time, or working with Esme Patterson on "Dearly Departed." Dubbed an "accidental kid," the track was written when the two spent Halloween together two years ago. "[Esme and I] share a pretty similar grim sense of humor," says Shakey. "We tried to make a tongue-and-cheek Halloween sex-joke song – y'know, it was really high concept [laughs]."

The former actor compares and contrasts his experience behind the screen—big and small—and behind the mic. "Now I'm able to fulfill a dream [of being a musician] that I've always had," Shakey says. "I think the true difference between the two is that you're praised in acting for not being yourself."

"All of this is sort of a growth process," says Shakey. "I'd hope that every day you should, hopefully, grow somehow."

Songs Performed

"Only Son"
"Dearly Departed"
"As Long As You Love Me" (Backstreet Boys cover)

"Only Son" and "Dearly Departed" are off Shakey Graves' 2014 album And the War Came, out now on Dualtone. "As Long As You Love Me" is off Backstreet Boys' self-titled debut.

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Rob Byers
Web feature by Leah Garaas

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8 Photos

  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves performs in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves' Samsonite suitecause turned two-piece percussion set (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shakey Graves
    Shakey Graves in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)