Can you believe it? If you live in an apartment in Glen Allen, VA Friday Cheers starts this week! This Friday, the performances are from Shakey Graves and Yarn for the first concert of the season.
Week One: May 1, $5
While these weeks of withering chill may seem endless, Richmond’s end-of-the-week musical respite known as Friday Cheers will be here before we know it to encourage us to leave our caves. And between the freeze relief and the stellar lineup on the board, it can’t come a moment too soon.
Headlining the May 1 opener will be Shakey Graves, the performing name of singer/guitarist and actor Alejandro Rose-Garcia. He had a recurring role in the TV series “Friday Night Lights” and various other appearances, though after gigging in Los Angeles while pursing acting work, Rose-Garcia returned home to Austin, Texas in 2010 with a fresh musical perspective.
Playing solo at the start with an acoustic guitar and a self-rigged kickdrum built of a suitcase, drum heads, and bass drum pedals, Rose-Garcia’s appearances began drawing returning crowds thanks to a vocal style and songs that intriguingly explored a range of dynamics. With additional players joining him for an NPR taping and a appearance on “Conan,” Shakey Graves has been enjoying sellout crowds for Americana-with-a-twist shows that feature last year’s “And the War Came” album as well as his previous releases.
Taking the stage first on May 1 is Yarn, following up their recent stop at the Broadberry. Since their 2007 formation in New York City they’ve refined their Americana/folk/alt-country blend, taking a cue from forebears such as the Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of the Purple Sage. The band is currently at work on the follow-up to their 2013 album “Shine the Light On.”
Week Two: May 8, $10
Though the headliner for May 8 will always be remembered in part for having been a key figure for years in Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell has passed the point where the time spent with his well-regarded solo career has eclipsed that of his previous gig.
Since the 2007 release of his debut solo release “Sirens of the Ditch,” the Alabama native has come fully into his own as an artist over the course of four albums. And with his sweep of the 2014 Americana Music Awards, in which he nabbed Artist, Song, and Album of the Year for “Southeastern,” if he didn’t already have everyone’s attention, he was well on his way to it.
The local band Horsehead appears that night at 6:30 with their self-described “American rock ‘n’ roll.” Formed in 2005 following the split of Dragstrip Syndicate, their rock sound, brushed with elements of country, soul, and ’60s rock, translates well from their albums to the stage.