Thursday, June 07, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Alabama Shakes

Artist:Alabama Shakes
Song:Hold On
Album:Boys & Girls

Alabama Shakes generated a lot of buzz as a live act before they signed a record deal. Boys & Girls is their debut CD and it has done well mostly with the Alternative Rock crowd. The band is from Athens, AL. Lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell were in a high school class together in 2009. Brittany didn't know Cockrell but she knew he played bass and asked him if he wanted to write songs with her after school. Things were going well but they thought they needed an experienced musician to help them. Drummer Steve Johnson worked in the local music store but he had played in bands since the 70s. They recorded some demos and started playing locally as The Shakes. Guitarist Heath Fogg was in another band and liked what he heard so he joined the band. The name The Shakes was thought to be too generic so it was changed to Alabama Shakes. They released an EP independently and were invited to the CMJ Festival in New York. A New York Times rave review led them to more high profile gigs and one of their songs was used in a Zales Jewellery ad. They signed with Dave Matthews' ATO label and Boys & Girls was released Apr. 2012. Hold On is the first single. They are on Rough Trade in England. The album reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 200 and #3 on the British Album chart. They have appeared on Conan, The Late Show with David Letterman and Later...with Jools Holland. I find that Alabama Shakes is heavily influenced by 60s soul similar to The Black Keys. But Brittany Howard's vocals are rougher that what you would expect from someone that young. BTW, that's a good thing. Alabama Shakes are currently on tour and will play Bonaroo tonight. It will be streamed tomorrow. Here's the video for Hold On by Alabama Shakes.

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