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Alabama Shakes

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  • Alabama Shakes

  • Alabama Shakes

  • Alabama Shakes


Biography Wikipedia


Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009. The group consists of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, keyboard player Ben Tanner, and drummer Steve Johnson. The group received three nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance for "Hold On", and Best Recording Package for their debut album, Boys & Girls.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


The band originated when lead singer-guitarist Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell, both then attending East Limestone High School near Athens in Limestone County, Alabama, began meeting after school to write songs. The two played progressive rock and other genres, but soon found a calling playing roots rock. They approached drummer Steve Johnson, who was working at a local music store, asking him to join the band and soon the trio went to Clearwave Recording Studio with producer Jeremy Stephens in Decatur, Alabama, to record some of the songs they were writing. Guitarist Heath Fogg joined the band after hearing the demo.

Footnote: Brittany's musical inspiration came primarily from her elder sister Jaime. Jaime passed away in 1998 of retinal cancer.

Although they had been working on original material, they worked up cover songs by Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Otis Redding, AC/DC, and others to fill a "one show only" 45-minute set, under the name The Shakes. The band later added Alabama to their name to differentiate themselves from other bands called The Shakes.

Alabama Shakes released the four-song EP Alabama Shakes September 2011, which gained media attention (including by NPR), and earned them an invitation to play at the CMJ Music Marathon industry showcase in New York.

The successful CMJ show in October 2011 caught the attention of Jon Pareles of The New York Times, who praised Howard's singing (comparing her to Janis Joplin) as well as the band's energy and musicianship. The clarity of Howard's presentation of the lyrics is distinctive. In late 2011, the band's song "You Ain't Alone" was used in a Zales jewelry ad and Alabama Shakes made MTV's list of Eleven Artists To Watch In 2012.

In the span of less than a year, the band went from virtual obscurity to playing venues such as the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee and in Los Angeles, the Troubadour and Music Box Theater.

In November 2011, the band was signed by Rough Trade Records in the United Kingdom and ATO Records in the United States. In February 2012, the band was nominated for an mtvU Woodie for "best live performance". Recently, Jack White tapped them to launch a series of singles for Third Man Records.

The band's first full-length album, Boys & Girls, was made available in its entirety for live streaming from the Internet on April 1, 2012. In June 2012, the band played a closing set for the first night of the 2012 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. In July of that year, the band also performed at the Newport Folk Festival.

"Boys & Girls" was awarded Gold Record status by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 in the United States on March 13, 2013.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Media appearances[edit]

The band made their U.S. national television debut on February 7, 2012 on Conan, where they performed their first single, "Hold On", and a web-exclusive performance of "I Ain't the Same". On April 12, 2012, the band performed on the Late Show with David Letterman for his birthday episode.

They made their UK television debut on April 24, 2012, where they appeared on Later... with Jools Holland and performed "Hold On", "Be Mine" and "Hang Loose." On August 14, 2012, they appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

In September 2012, the band performed at Bestival on the Isle of Wight, alongside The xx and Stevie Wonder. They were featured on the February 16, 2013 edition of Austin City Limits where they performed "Hold On", "Always Alright", "You Ain't Alone", "I Ain't the Same", and "On Your Way".

They appeared on Saturday Night Live on February 16, 2013, performing "Hold On" and "Always Alright." They also appeared at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival in May 2013. On June 22, 2013 they performed at Firefly Music Festival in Dover,Delaware. They also appeared at the Glastonbury Festival in June, 2013.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


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eMusic Features


Interview: Alabama Shakes

By Annie Zaleski, Contributor

During "Hold On," the first track from Alabama Shakes' debut album, Boys & Girls. vocalist Brittany Howard asserts, "I got so much to do, I ain't got much time." Those words perfectly summarize the ascent of the Athens, Alabama, band. Once known as the Shakes (they addedAlabama later to avoid confusion), the quartet formed in 2009 and cut their teeth playing a mix of covers and originals at local clubs. A chance encounter with Patterson… more »

Video from YouTube

  • thumbnail from Alabama Shakes - "Hold On" - Live from the Shoals 8-21-2011 Alabama Shakes - "Hold On" - Live from the Shoals 8-21-2011
  • thumbnail from Alabama Shakes - I Ain't The Same [BandaDoDia] Alabama Shakes - I Ain't The Same [BandaDoDia]
  • thumbnail from Alabama Shakes // I Found You + Goin' to the Party // Ogden Theater // 3.9.13 Alabama Shakes // I Found You + Goin' to the Party // Ogden Theater // 3.9.13
  • thumbnail from Alabama Shakes - You Ain't Alone [BandaDoDia] Alabama Shakes - You Ain't Alone [BandaDoDia]


  • 07.08.14 We are playing NYC (7/24), ATL (8/7) & LA (11/6) for the @MBUSA Evolution Tour! Enter to win tix @ http://t.co/GIhJ0jhFr1 #MBEvolutiontour
  • 07.02.14 RT @rock_hall: What was ur 1st guitar? This is Brittany Howard of @Alabama_Shakes' 1st 6string: #ALABAMASHAKES now @rock_hall! http://t.co/…
  • 07.01.14 We will be playing 3 nights of the @MBUSA Evolution Tour, visit http://t.co/VXmCJGUmM0 for info on how you can attend.
  • 06.27.14 RT @TheGRAMMYs: PHOTO OF THE DAY: @Alabama_Shakes' Brittany Howard & @SherylCrow celebrate 40 years of @acltv http://t.co/P5w4LCcVuX http:/…
  • 06.27.14 RT @PBS: .@acltv Celebrates 40 Years of Music w/ @TheBonnieRaitt, @alabama_shakes, @garyclarkjr & many more! Airs on PBS 10/3 http://t.co/3…
  • 06.27.14 Amazing day yesterday at the @acltv 40th Anniversary taping. So honored to be part of the event and… http://t.co/AH1XWhne2v
  • 06.23.14 Excited to announce we are playing the opening of the new Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage AK on Sept 13! On sale July 15. Cant wait!!
  • 06.23.14 RT @capitoltheatre: ONE YEAR! One year ago today, @alabama_shakes played a powerful SOLD OUT show at The Cap. What was your favorite moment…
  • 06.23.14 RT @grupofantasma: We're very excited about our show this week @acltv @TheJeffBridges @SherylCrow @GaryClarkJr @Alabama_Shakes @PBS http://…
  • 06.03.14 Check out the new video from @HFTRR. You might recognize some people. http://t.co/qDh9fhcli6
  • 05.12.14 RT @ATORecords: Over @jazzfest in NOLA, @alabama_shakes played a special show at @preshall with @preshallband! http://t.co/wh4GbKC2kt @SPIN…
  • 05.12.14 Happy to be back home w our families. Thank you to everyone at the shows + @TheGloryFires & @thedeslondes for making each night so special!