As Shakey Graves, singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia hides behind the stage name rather than share his true self.
Or does he?
“I think the nice part is I have the option to,” says Rose-Garcia, who will co-headline a pair of shows with Dr. Dog Friday (sold out) and Saturday at The Rooftop at Pier 17. “The alias is a band name for all intents and purposes, and it doesn’t have to go any deeper than that, but I can really play the part.
“It’s just like any character that an actor plays for a long time where they can still differentiate between the two, even if they’re similar. Like, ‘I’m David Schwimmer and I’m also Ross from ‘Friends.’”
The Austin, Texas, native isn’t speaking figuratively. Born into a show-biz family, he’s also an actor who’s appeared in the aughts series “Spy Kids” and “Friday Night Lights” and a has a few indie features in the works.
It’s a talent that’s benefited his music career, as he has been able to inhibit the persona of a one-man band, simultaneously singing, playing guitar and percussion, before pivoting to his current role leading a band.
The solo, contraption-based approach was one born of necessity, says Rose-Garcia.
“I didn’t have a car, a drummer, a drum kit or a band,” he says. Then he saw a night of three one-man bands, “and I thought, ‘This could be a useful approach to do this.’”
Last year’s “Can’t Wake Up,” the fourth full-length Shakey Graves album, is the biggest departure from that strummy, busker format, an expansive, full-band effort.
“I think it actually reflects my taste in music a little bit more effectively,” Rose-Garcia says of the 13-song release. “Just because I feel like I play what I have around at the time, the reason my earlier stuff is acoustically driven or anything like that wasn’t because I was a folk purist — it was just kind of the resources I had at the time. So as my imagination got stronger and my influences grew, it became sort of a dreamscape.”
Austin, the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World,” has been the perfect laboratory for the continued experiments of Rose-Garcia, who will begin working on new Shakey Graves material with drummer-collaborator Christopher Boosahda after the tour.
“I feel Austin has always championed music and bizarre expression on way or another,” says Rose-Garcia.
Asked about eccentric Austin singer-songwriter, Daniel Johnston, who died Tuesday, he notes, “His contributions could have been negligible. He could have just been a crazy person that was handing out tapes. It just so happened that Austin picked up what he was putting down. Austin kind of circled their wagons around his crazy angle on life, and I don’t know if that would happen everywhere else.”