What I’m listening to today….. Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes, NME, January 2012                                                                              Photo: Pieter M. van Hattem / Contour by Getty Images

Awhile back I had read a little blurb in some magazine about a new band, Alabama Shakes, and decided that I should check them out. Well since I filed it in my mind and not somewhere useful, like in my notebook, I promptly forgot about them. Sad, because now that I’ve heard their music I realised I missed out on months of amazing musical enjoyment!

Maybe you’ve heard their hit song Hold On for which they were nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock performance? Or maybe you saw them last week on SNL? If not I’d be pleased to get you better acquainted with Alabama Shakes.

ASColor3          Photo: Autumn de Wilde

Brittany Howard, Zac Cockrell, Heath Fogg, and Steve Johnson are the four members of the band. The group met and came together in Athens, Alabama and got to know each other through playing original material as well as covers of James Brown, Otis Redding, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. They released their first album, Boys and Girls, on April 9, 2012.

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Alabama Shakes have been labeled as soul rock, southern rock, rockabilly, retro rock and soul revival just to name a few, but it seems like these musicians would rather just focus on making great music and not on labels.

“Retro soul is not what we’re going for, though it’s understandable why people say it,” says Howard. “We take inspiration from that, but we all understand Black Sabbath, too. On the record, we left a lot of room for whatever we want to do in the future.”

That quote was taken from their bio. You can read it in its entirety HERE.

80810003                          Photo: Autumn de Wilde

Just listening to the foot tapping music and experiencing Brittany Howard’s soulful vocals is a treat but watch Alabama Shakes live performances and you’ll see their awesome stage presence and genuine love for the craft.

Here’s the SNL performance of Always Alright and if you like it you should go to Alabama Shakes’ website www.alabamashakes.com and score a free download of this song!

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This is one band that I would travel to see live. Maybe ill see them one day in a muddy concert field or a tiny backwoods bar.

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