Shakey Graves Serenades Austin Graduates

Alejandro Rose-Garcia, an AISD alumni, performs “Word of Mouth” for the class of 2020

By Hannah J. Phillips

It’s been a hard year to mark milestones: from birthdays in quarantine to socially distant holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we’re learning to get creative with virtual celebrations. That’s why Austin’s local troubadour, Shakey Graves, has a message for Austin’s high school graduates. 

Born and raised in Austin, Graves, whose real name is Alejandro Rose-Garcia, is an award-winning Americana musician and an AISD alumni. He first rose to fame with his 2011 self-released album, Roll the Bones, traveling that same year with Mumford & Sons on their Railroad Revival Tour. With his signature suitcase-turned-kick drum and tambourine set, he soon became a staple at Austin City Limits. Former Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell even declared February 9 a “Shakey Graves Day” in 2012, and Graves still celebrates the annual event by releasing his music at pay-what-you-want prices.

Partnering with Austin ISD’s nonprofit public education foundation, Austin Ed Fund, Graves released a special congratulatory message this week to all the new AISD graduates. In the video, he performs his song “Word of Mouth,” dedicating it to the class of 2020. The recurring chorus of the song features advice from a variety of sources – everyone from Saint Peter to a boss and a symbolic snake in an apple tree. In a vocal interlude, Graves tells graduates:

“You don’t gotta listen to people like me, just because I’ve got a microphone. There will be a lot of people with a lot of microphones in front of you as time goes on, and you gotta listen to yourself.”

Crooning out a final note, Graves concludes his address with a “Congratulations, guys! Go kill it out there!”


Read More From the Summer 2020 Issue


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