Ever since Austin’s then-mayor proclaimed Feb. 9, 2012 as Shakey Graves Day, singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia has been celebrating by releasing pay-what-you-want digital music and playing a cheap-admission club gig. Between 2012 and 2015, the blues-folk singer went from an up-and-coming Austin talent to a nationally renowned, rapidly rising star (he’s slated to appear on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Feb. 13), but he’s still releasing pay-what-you-want music and playing gigs for Shakey Graves Day. Today he posted a new 11-track EP, Nobody’s Fool, on Bandcamp, and made several other new and previously released tracks available until midnight Feb. 11.
All of his releases, including his latest, And the War Came, are available in the name-your-price offering. They feature rarities such as his cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Passionate Kisses,” on Story of My Life, and a live, must-hear cover of “A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” from the classic Disney film Cinderella, on Nobody’s Fool.
Tonight he’s also reprising his 2014 gig at Austin’s Empire Control Room & Garage, though the $5 tickets are already sold out and going on Stubhub for up to $76.49.
The Austin native knows such proclamations, issued for any artist invited to play before Austin City Council’s weekly meetings (or upon request for such occasions as album releases), are technically a one-day-only deal, but he has fun celebrating the “anniversary” — and using it for some savvy self-marketing. In addition to Nobody’s Fool and bonus tracks added to his As Per Request EP, he’s making all material released on previous Shakey Grave Days available as well, including The State of Texas Vs. Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Story of My Life and West of Calgary.
Rose-Garcia originally gained notice when his first self-released album, Roll the Bones, became one of Bandcamp’s best-selling and most-streamed offerings; its follow-up, And the War Came, has remained in the top 10 of the Americana Music Association’s airplay chart since its Oct. 7, 2014 release, and hit many critics’ year-end best-of lists.
In his announcement of this year’s releases, Rose-Garcia said Nobody’s Fool “is a compilation of songs that were recorded in the genesis of And the War Came, as well as other B sides.”
He also added three tracks to As Per Request: a version of “Dearly Departed,” his wildly popular duet with Esme Patterson, recorded live at the Pandora House during South By Southwest 2014; “Call It Heaven,” recorded in a Jam in the Van session at the 2014 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival; and a solo version of “The Perfect Parts” performed live on the CBC radio show, “Q.”