About two weeks ago I was chatting with my friend Brando on the phone. We talked about future wedding plans, inside jokes, and our upcoming annual cabin trip in backwoods, nowhere Utah. As the conversation wrapped up, he slipped in a casual suggestion, “Hey man, if you get a sec check out this Alabama Shakes band…it’s a blues band from Alabama with a sassy, large, black girl as the singer. It’s like The Black Keys meets Aretha Franklin.” …..thank you Brando.
The Alabama Shakes are still relatively new. They share the quintessential high school gathering and start to success. Singer/guitarist Brittany Howard (large, sassy, black girl as my friend described) approached bassist Zac Cockrell and the two started to collaborate. Within another few months local drummer Steve Johnson and guitarist Heath Fog were added to the mix. The band released their first album Boys and Girls in April under Rough Trade Records and ATO Records.
Boys and Girls boasts a 12 song set of hard rocking blues and soul. Singles “Hold On” and “You Ain’t Alone” are still climbing US and international charts. Expect swooning lyrics and bluesy guitar licks and piano riffs. Great things are expected from this hard group. Praises rain from mtvU to Jack White, who has expressed future interest in working with the group.
Alabama Shakes are currently touring in England and have already scheduled, sold-out shows throughout their summer tour.