Here's the thing about Shakey Graves and Nikki Lane: The two of them are always down for stage shenanigans, and the fact that they're currently on tour together is a genius and terrible idea all at the same time. When Shakey Graves — a/k/a Alejandro Rose-Garcia — rolled through New York a few months ago in support of his remarkable sophomore effort, And the War Came, a dude crawled out of the crowd to join him onstage at the Bowery Ballroom, picked up a bass, and rocked with the band for a few bars, accidentally stomping on some of the lights in the process. With Lane, she's as rambunctious as her caterwauling, modern take on old country is on All or Nothin', the 2014 full-length she's still touring behind. She was forced to crowdsurf from the stage to the back of the venue in order to work the merch table the other night, and she's always down to bring the crowd before her to a fever pitch by the end of her set. The grins they each sport when they're in their element — playing to packed, loud, sloppy rooms full of people clapping off the beat and belly-laughing while they do it — rival that of the Cheshire Cat. Their mischief is just as engaging as their music, and that's why they're ideal road buddies, even if it means trouble for the rest of us.
|Graves photo by Josh Verduzco / Lane photo by Glynis Carpenter|
|Shakey Graves and Nikki Lane|
In between their respective soundchecks in Washington, D.C., just two nights before their return to New York City for two shows, at Irving Plaza and Warsaw, Lane and Rose-Garcia picked each other's brains about everything they love and loathe about music, from the need to pigeonhole an artist into a particular genre to learning how to keep a cool head as your career takes off. Edited for brevity, this is the backstage chat that unfurled between two of independent country's — or folk, or rock, or what have you — most exciting talents.More »