Not performing in 2017
Alabama Shakes make the oft-repeated ‘overnight success’ phrase a rare reality. Born in an Athens, Alabama high school psychology class in 2009 after Brittany Howard approached Zac Cockrell to make music, the duo began creating rootsy songs before teaming up with local drummer and music store employee Steve Johnson. A proto- demo found its way into the hands of local guitarist Heath Fogg, who soon joined the band. Then known as the Shakes, they combined originals with classic soul and rock songs, finding their way to a Nashville studio in early 2011, where they cut “You Ain’t Alone” and “I Found You.” People soon began taking notice of the group’s hard-charging live sound and Howard’s magnetic stage presence. Literally overnight, emails from across the music industry flooded in. While the attention and pressure grew, the band – by now called Alabama Shakes – continued to break new musical ground. Their first single, the show-stopping plea “Hold On,” only increased the buzz. Glowing reviews, appearances at festivals such as Newport and Glastonbury, on television shows like Letterman, Saturday Night Live and the Grammys, ensued. Their day jobs (mail carrier and nuclear power plant night watchman, among others) behind them, they now unleash their heart-rending lyrics, groove and space-laden songs, blistering force and unchecked emotion on the now happily-suspecting masses.