The “one-woman band” from Paducah, Kentucky, is making a name for herself on the regional music with folksy-Americana.
July has her own “suitcase drum” with a separate tambourine attachment she uses her in the show along with her guitar and voice.
The stage name pays homage to a musician that has helped shape her stage persona. Shakey Graves, who was born Alejandro Rose-Garcia, is an Austin-based musician who blends blues, folk and rock ‘n’ roll together.
“I thought that if he could do it all by myself then maybe I could too,” she said.
July’s style includes a whimsical wink to some of the early cues to what would become the basis of rock n’ roll.
“It’s folksy, bluesy Americana,” she said.
She said she has been performing for about a year with many of her gigs in Paducah. At the end of 2016, she expanded out to include venues around Southern Illinois.
“I’ve been playing around the wineries,” she said.
Her original music has been featured at the Bluebird Cafe, and two of the “48 Hour Film Projects.” She has also played at the 2017 Barbecue on the River in Paducah earlier this fall.
When performing, July says she likes to pay attention to the audience and see how they are reaction to her music.
“I like to watch the audience while I’m performing,” she said. “I like to gauge their reactions to some of covers and other original songs that I do.”
July described one of the songs she regularly puts in her set list, which highlights a down-on-the-luck approach to love and loss.
“There’s this song that I usually close my set with. It is from Shakey Graves and it actually is where I get my stage name,” she said. “It’s about a gold digger who takes his money and he kills her. He then awaits his execution by electric song. It’s probably the weirdest song I do.”
She plans to work on recording an album, with hopes of releasing them early next year. She said she has been scheduled for tonsil surgery, which will keep her sidelined for a few weeks.
She wants to continue to make music and she is appreciative of the chance to get to share her songs with the world.
“I’ve had incredible support from my parents,” she said. “They’ve been to every one of my shows. I couldn’t ask for more.”