Watching Austinite Shakey Graves (a.k.a. Alejandro Rose-Garcia) saunter up to a mic thumbing his suspenders and proceed to set up his makeshift suitcase-kickdrum rig, the 25-years-young singer-songwriter clearly has crafted a Bert-hobo folk schtick he admires. And right when you think it’s about to wear supremely thin, he erupts into a crooning amorphous blend of dirty blues, bedroom confessional and ghostly troubadour, weaving straight-shooter revelations that don’t hide a damn thing, even the self-deprecations of “city boys in country clothes:” [LISTEN to “Roll the Bones“]

Well so it goes

Yeah so it goes

Them city boys in country clothes

Oh take a chance and roll the bones

Go crash your car

Burn down your home

Yeah try to forget all your enemies and debts

They’ll just chase you ’round and give you sour dreams

Rose-Garcia’s a curious character, a breed of self-hating Austinite that went to high school with power-blues upstart Gary Clark Jr., and has dipped a few toes in Hollywood, snagging roles in Friday Night Lights and other slacker-throb teen dramas. While his first album, Roll the Bones (2011) is a grainy, intimate affair, rife with front-porch finger-picking emulations (“Georgia Moon“), kooky 4-track overdubs layering instructional sex video dialogue (“The Seal Hunter“) and breathy, bass-note tributes to the Boss (“I’m on Fire“). Sin, addiction, wanderlust, humor, he covers a lot of ground and textures as a young Bert. Maybe almost too much. But my is it a thrill to watch him take writing shape, cut with the loud-quiet skill of Jeff Buckley‘s finest catharsis all sunburnt, dusty and wryly sad, being “bored and lazy,” but glowingly “Built to Roam:”

Watch out cause here I come
Bored and lazy
Yeah here i come just passin’ through
Oh follow me beyond the mountain
Go howl the ol’ big moon
Yeah strip them clothes right off your body
Dress your skin in sticks and stones
Doesn’t matter where were headed cause
Some of us were built
Some of us were built
Some of us were built to roam