Alabama Shakes (Hold On)

 Alabama Shakes (Hold On)The story of the Alabama Shakes began in a high school psychology class in Athens, Alabama. Brittany Howard, who had started playing guitar a few years earlier, approached Zac Cockrell and asked if he wanted to try making music together. I just knew that he played bass and that he wore shirts with cool bands on them that nobody had heard of, says Howard. They started to meet up after school and write songs sitting on Howards floor.

Shortly after Steve Johnson was recruited into the band. He worked at the only music store in town, and Howard knew he played the drums. The three young musicians began working together, further expanding their style and approach. Steve is kind of a punk-metal drummer, says Howard, so we embraced that edge he brings to everything he does.

The trio soon went into a studio in Decatur to record some of the songs they were working up, and this proto-demo found its way into the hands of Heath Fogg, with whom Howard had been familiar because he had been the lead guitarist in what she describes as the best band in our high school. Fogg, who by now had graduated from college, asked them to open a show for his band, which they agreed to do—on the condition that he play with them. Their first show proved to be explosive!

In 2012, Alabama Shakes have delivered Boys & Girls—six of the songs from that initial Nashville session, and another five recorded during the rest of the year. From the heart-rending title song to such stomps as “Rise to the Sun,” the album demonstrates the sense of groove and space the band learned from their idols, along with a blistering force and emotion that simply can’t be learned.

Most recently they were nominated in three categories at the 2013 Grammy Awards including: Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance, and Best Recording Package.


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