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Alabama Shakes: What’s Your Flavor?

March 30, 2012

I owe Haley Reinhart a big thank you. In a recent interview, she mentioned the band Alabama Shakes as one of her new favorites. Well, as we all know, the best place to discover new music (besides on the sofa) is through other artists, so I immediately Googled this band, watched their many Youtube videos and found an article about them absolutely slaying the crowd at SXSW, and now I have no option but to pony up the cash and go see them live. I have a new love and they go by the name of Alabama Shakes. Specifically, frontwoman/guitarist Brittany Howard has me mesmerized by her Janis Joplin-like gutbucket soul voice. If you have ears, you must listen to them today.

The Athens, Alabama-based quartet (besides Howard, band members include Heath Fogg, Zac Cockrell and Steve Johnson) are technically a rock band, but that naked, stripped-down way that Howard lays the bands’ heart on the table for all to see, hear and experience, is straight up soul music. Ripping a page from Adele’s playbook, Alabama Shakes is giving me southern rock, soul and country music all combined into one bluesy cocktail that will be way too much for some, but ideal for my listening palate. I have included a couple of videos below. Yes, the stagemanship is… interesting, but that’s not my concern. Sit back and listen. Tell me I’m wrong.

Alabama Shakes, “You Ain’t Alone”

Alabama Shakes, “Hold On”

The Alabama Shakes are on a lengthy tour (I see two stops and four shows in NYC alone). Check out the schedule and get your tickets today. Their debut album, Boys & Girls, will be released on April 10.


Are you following me on Twitter? @josephrileyland


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