Friday, April 27, 2012

Alabama Shakes

Whoa and WOW!  I'm lucky to subscribe to Guitar Center's Youtube channel.  They posted a session by Alabama Shakes and I'm blown away by young lead singer, Brittany Howard's voice.  At times it reminds me of old school blues Otis Redding, other times 60s Motown, sometimes Doowop Amy Winehouse, and at other times gospel Naomi Shelton.  Can't leave out a Janis Joplin reference either.  From the moment I heard just her speaking voice I knew I was in for a treat.  You are too.

I like their back story.  In high school, Brittany approached a classmate who she knew played drums.  They began writing songs together after school and then approached a guitar player at a local music shop, who joined the fledgling duo.  When they were asked to open for another band, they agreed under the condition the bass player joined them on stage during their set.  The response to that peformance was so great, the bass player left his band to join Brittany, and the four of them became Alabama Shakes.  They are all from Athens, Alabama, and are sometimes joined by a keyboardist, who will use an iPad for his keyboard in intimate settings.

Check out the iPad keyboard in this one.  You'll find yourself grooving along to I Ain't the Same.  This is the song that first got them national attention on the popular music blog, Aquarium Drunkard.

And, you can't deny the power in this live performance of You Ain't Alone at Stubbs bbq in Austin, TX:

Alabama Shakes is just starting to make appearances on T.V.  In the U.S., Conan broke them, and in the UK, Jools Holland did.

What do you think?

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