Alabama Shakes has become one of the most popular American rock bands in the country. They
burst onto the music scene in 2009, and have been making a name for themselves ever since. The three friends, who met during
their days at East Limestone High School near Athens, Alabama, have created a unique brand of roots rock that earned the group
three nominations at the 2013 Grammy Awards. They were nominated in the categories of Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance
for "Hold On" and Best Recording Package for their first album, Boys & Girls.
They have made appearances at some
of the biggest music festivals in the country, including the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and the Newport Folk Festival.
Fans can't seem to get enough of their roots rock charm. They have flocked to their concerts and festival performances, and
are now clamoring for tickets to their live performances on their most recent tour. The band will be making stops in Orlando,
Miami and Mobile.
The Alabama Shakes have managed to reign in some recognition over the years since
their inception in 2009. In 2011, You Ain't Alone, was used in a Zales jewelry TV commercial, and they also cornered a spot
on MTV's list of 11 Artists to Watch in 2012. In less than a year, the band went from anonymity to rockin' the stages of venues
like the Troubadour, Music Box Theater and Ryman Auditorium.
About the Artist
The story of the Alabama
Shakes began in a psychology class at East Limestone High School in Athens, Alabama. Budding guitarist Brittany Howard asked
fellow classmate Zac Cockrell if he wanted to jam. She stated that she only knew he was a bassist and donned shirts that advertised
cool bands that no one ever heard of. Soon the pair were meeting after school, penning songs with a rootsy feel on Howard's
bedroom floor. It was not long after that Howard set out to recruit Steve Johnson, who worked at the only music store in town.
She knew he played drums and invited him to a party. The pair was now a trio, receptive to Johnson's punk-metal edge that
he brought to the mix. They headed to Decatur, Alabama, to record some of their original material. Heath Fogg, guitarist,
joined the band after listening to the demo.
Although their main passion was writing their own songs, they also added
some cover songs to the mix from James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, AC/DC and others to fill a 45-minute set under the
moniker, The Shakes. Later on the band added Alabama to their name to stand out over other bands also called The Shakes. A
four-song EP, Alabama Shakes, was introduced in 2011. It garnered some media attention from NPR and also got them an invite
to play at CMJ. Jon Pareles of The New York Times took notice and sang the band's praises, and commented specifically on Howard's
voice, drawing a comparison to Janis Joplin.
Since then, the band have made several media appearances on shows like
the Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Later…with Jools Holland. They have also performed alongside
legends like Stevie Wonder and performed on the iconic Saturday Night Live stage. They are currently on tour, performing music
from their latest album and singing some of their classic tunes. With talent, dynamite stage presence and unique sound, the
Alabama Shakes are sure to be around for years to come.
The band had only been
playing for a few years when they had compiled enough material to release their first album. Alabama Shakes EP was released
in 2011 and immediately received media attention for its gripping and catchy tunes. The notoriety earned them a spot playing
during the CMJ Music Marathon industry showcase in New York where they caught the attention of New York Times writer Jon Pareles.
He praised the band and Howard's Janis Joplin-esque voice. By the fall of 2011, the Alabama Shakes were signing a contract
with Rough Trade Records and ATO Records. It wasn't long after that the band was putting out their first album, Boys &
Girls, and gaining a worldwide fan base.
As the baby-faced group comes up on stage, you
wonder if they will have the strength to carry an entire 45-minute set all by themselves. And then lead vocalist Brittany
Howard opens her mouth, and you suddenly realize that you're in the presence of a legend-in-the-making. Her gritty, Joplin-esque
voice is both gripping and sultry at the same time. And with the help of talented musicians like guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist
Zac Cockrell, keyboardist Ben Tanner and drummer Steve Johnson, the Alabama Shakes' music comes alive. Fans are captivated
from the first note to the last. They rock their original songs and covers of bands like Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Otis Redding
and AC/DC. Howard's voice carries them all as she adds her own unique twist on the classic tunes.