80’s (and sometimes 00’s) Music Rules – Alabama Shakes

This is a side-step from the usual obscure/80s/Numan/etc.  features normally found on Rave and Roll.  I’ve been known to talk about current artists that either emulate 80s New Wave/Postpunk, or in this case, give a heavy-hitting dose of soul-wrenching, gut-stirring blues.

A friend posted “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes on my FaceBook page, and I have not been able to get enough of this band. In the past, I’ve made no bones about the fact that 1) I am not a fan of female vocalists, and 2) I don’t believe there are a whole lot of up-and-comers that are worth their salt.  Brittany Howard, and her band Alabama Shakes, have shattered both of those long-standing rules.

From Wikipedia:

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 was originally formed when lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard approached bassist Zac Cockrell during a high school psychology class and began meeting after school to write songs. Howard and Cockrell experimented with many different styles of music including roots rock, progressive rock, soul music, country music and classic rock.

If you have ever loved the blues, if you have ever loved Janis Joplin, you must give this band a listen. I’m going to let Alabama Shakes, and more importantly, their edgy, bluesy, hard-rocking singer speak for themselves. They just released their first full-length album titled Boys and Girls this month. Check out the Alabama Shakes homepage, listen to them on YouTube, and buy their music. This is definitely a life-changing experience you do not want to miss.

Alabama Shakes – “Hold On” via YouTube user AlabamaShakes:

  • Brittany Howard – lead vocals, guitar
  • Heath Fogg – guitar
  • Zac Cockrell – bass
  • Steve Johnson – drums
  • Ben Tanner – keyboards

Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone” via YouTube user NowWaveManchester: