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Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009. The group consists of lead singer Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson.
The band originated when lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell, both attending East Limestone High School in Athens, began meeting after school to write songs. The two played prog rock and other genres but soon found a calling playing roots rock. They approached drummer Steve Johnson, who was working at the local music store, to join the band and the trio soon went to a studio in Decatur, Alabama, to record some of the songs they were writing. Guitarist Heath Fogg joined the band after hearing the demo. Though 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 in September 2011, gained media attention (including by NPR), and earned them an invitation to play at CMJ. The successful show CMJ in October 2011 caught the attention of Jon Pareles of The New York Times, who praised Howard's singing (comparing her to Janis Joplin) and the band's energy and musicianship. 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 11 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 the Troubadour and Music Box Theater in Los Angeles.
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 a 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 to be streamed live in its entirety on April 1, 2012. In June 2012, the band played a closing set for the first night of the 2012 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments