on my boombox: alabama shakes

26 Jan

When NPR says you should listen to a band, you listen. When Patterson Hood says you should listen to a band, you drop everything you’re doing and listen. As such, let me introduce Alabama Shakes:

I first learned about this quartet from–yes–Alabama in December 2011, when they opened for one of the Drive-By Truckers’ DC shows. I saw a different opener at the Thursday show, but some friends attended on Saturday night and raved about the twangy roots-rock group and their power house female vocalist/guitarist who opened the show. Blue Car Syndrome took over from there, and I soon noticed when NPR featured the Shakes on World Café: Next  and–in a rare display of relevancy—when Rolling Stone gave them a nod.

The downside to being early to jump on a band’s wagon is that, sometimes, the band’s discography appropriately reflects their status as “rising” stars. Such is the case with Alabama Shakes. After finding only a few tracks on Grooveshark, I assumed I had missed something and frantically looked elsewhere. No dice: the Shakes have released only one four-track EP thus far. Thankfully, the band recently announced that ATO will release their debut album, Boys & Girls, in April. Hallelujah.

File these guys under “bands to watch in 2012.” The group’s icky thump percussion, plus Brittany Howard’s soulful, show-stopping vocals, plus the finger-lickin guitar you’d expect from a Southern roots band… it’s an impeccable combination.

Until April… tide yourself over with the EP.


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