Alabama Shakes | The Audio Perv
Posts Tagged ‘Alabama Shakes’
17 Aug

By Ace Ubas

Alabama Shakes is a band that seemingly came out of nowhere in 2012. And in a span of eight months, things have most definitely changed in a great way. Their debut album, Boys & Girls, garnered tons of critical acclaim and marked only the beginning of their rise. It led to national radio air-play, appearances on the late night circuit (most recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live), playing numerous festivals, and going on their first-ever headlining tour. On Wednesday night, they brought their blues-infused rock and roll to the Fox Theater in Pomona in support of their album.

The opener for the night was the Brooklyn-based Afrobeat collective, Antibalas and they immediately got the crowd hot, like red hot. Each of the 12 members held an array of instruments – from a tenor and baritone saxophone to congas and a shekere – that displayed an all-out fun time. As I stood in the pit, I noticed practically everyone around me moving. What made it even more incredible was that Antibalas went over their allotted 35 minute set to the point where the in-house sound crew cut off their sound, yet they kept on playing and the crowd cheered even louder. Based on the overhearing the people around me, they didn’t want them to stop. It was definitely something unusual and unexpected from an opening act, but if you can get the crowd riled up like that, then please don’t stop.

Having had the pleasure of going to a lot of memorable shows this year, Alabama Shakes may be right at the top (along with Sigur Ros at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery). Right from the very first note that they played, it was a tremendous set filled with pure energy and raw, genuine emotion sprouting from frenzied frontwoman Brittany Howard. And when listening to Southern rock bands, you wouldn’t expect anything less.

They opened their set with the short-yet-sweet “Goin’ to the Party” before going into back to back hits with “Hang Loose” and “Hold On.” Immediately, you can hear the stark contrast between their songs on record and their live performance, mainly how bone-chilling Howard’s vocals are in person. Her howls come off as natural and seamless; a tour de force almost. While the rest of the band seemed unfazed by Howard, the crowd was blown away. On “Hang Loose,” they sang word for word, nearly reveling in the song’s message about letting go of all the worries, while on “Hold On,” you can actually feel Howard sing about a time in her past where she needed to persevere.

“Heartbreaker” and “Boys & Girls” slowed down the pace, showcasing Howard at her most soulful and emotional. On the former, she wailed out “how was I supposed to know he was a heartbreaker” that brought out goosebumps to those watching because of how pitch-perfect she sang her highs. On the latter, Howard provided an anecdote explaining when she was a little girl, people would criticize her friendship with a little boy. She responded with a resounding “that’s some bullshit,” much to the delight of the crowd.

“You Ain’t Alone” was one of the highlights of the night, stirring up moments of romance and intimacy. Throughout the song, most couples in the crowd held onto each other while singing along to the chorus. At one point, as the instruments faded down to silence, the crowd singing along with Howard on the lines “you ain’t alone/just let me be your ticket home” produced a choir-like effect that reverberated throughout the venue, mesmerizing a certain writer (along with many others).

When the band exited after the final song, the crowd didn’t go the conventional route when calling back the band for an encore. Instead of the usual chants of “encore” or “one more song,” the crowd took advantage of the venue’s hardwood floors and began stomping on them furiously until they came back out. For their two song encore, Alabama Shakes brought out a few friends from Antibalas’ brass section (who also played earlier in their set on songs such as “Rise to the Sun” and a few new ones). And together, they played riveting renditions of “I Ain’t the Same” and the fast-paced and frenetic “Heavy Chevy.”

At the end of the night, Alabama Shakes put on one of the more breathtaking sets that I’ve seen since I saw the Black Keys last year. They captivated the crowd through sheer talent, passion, energy, emotion, and honesty. And what more can you ask for when going to a live concert? What’s even more impressive is that they’ve been able to put up this kind of performance in such a short amount of time, leaving their future to look intensely bright. As I walked out, the girl behind me said it best when describing how watching and listening to Howard made her feel: “she makes me feel nothing and everything at once.”

14 Aug

Alabama Shakes performed “I Ain’t The Same” and “Rise To The Sun” w/the Antibalas Horns on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Watch both songs in the video below and pick up their album Boys & Girls on iTunes, Amazon MP3 (Only $5!), CD, or Vinyl

26 Jun

Alabama Shakes performed “Be Mine” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Watch the video below and pick up their album Boys & Girls on iTunes, Amazon MP3 (Only $5!), CD, or Vinyl

22 May

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2012 Lineup Announced

By The Audio Perv , Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Austin City Limits Music Festival has announced its lineup for the 2012 edition of the festival. Set to headline this year’s lineup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys and Jack White. Three day tickets and single day passes are still on-sale for the festival for the festival set for October 12th through the 14th. Pick them up here while they last.

Check out the full lineup below:

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys
Jack White, Florence + The Machine, The Avett Brothers, Iggy & The Stooges, AVICII, BASSNECTAR, The Roots, The Shins, Weezer, Gotye, The Civil Wars, M83, Tegan and Sara, Childish Gambino Two Door Cinema Club, Thievery Corporation, The Afghan Whigs, Crystal Castles, Andrew Bird, Gary Clark Jr., Metric, Band of Skulls, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, M. Ward, Randy Rogers Band, Die Antwoord, Rufus Wainwright, NEEDTOBREATHE, Big Gigantic, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Steve Earle, The War On Drugs, Umphrey’s McGee, Barrington Levy, Old 97′s Punch Brothers, Bombay Bicycle Club, A-Trak, Trampled by Turtles Patterson Hood, Michael Kiwanuka, Big K.R.I.T., Oberhofer, POLICA, Tennis, Zola Jesus, Stars, Kimbra, Black Lips, Los Campesinos!, Jovanotti, Ben Howard, Ruthie Foster, Freelance Whales, Civil Twilight, The Whigs, Dev, The Lumineers, Bad Books, The Devil Makes Three, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit Patrick Watson, LP, Caveman, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Father John Misty The Wombats, Dry the River, The Boxer Rebellion, Soul Rebels Brass Band Thundercat, Willis Earl Beal, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Kishi Bashi, Deep Dark Woods, Moon Duo, Kopecky Family Band, River City Extension Quiet Corral, Wheeler Brothers, The Relatives, Space Capone, The Staves Native Run, Nikki Lane, Quiet Company, Infantree, Wild Child, La Vida Bohème The Eastern Sea, The Dunwells, Kenny Vaughan Trio, Justin Jones, Sonámbulo Royal Teeth, Noah Gunderson, The Aaron Ivey Band, The Mighty Sincere Voices G.S.T., Colorfeels, Lera Lynn, Megan McCormick, Shields of Faith, Stapletones, The Baylor Choir, Disciples of Joy, Ralph’s World, Orange Sherbet, Big Don Rocknoceros, Hullabaloo, Jambo, Peter DiStefano & Tor, The School of Rock, The Q Brothers

24 Apr

Alabama Shakes will extend their U.S. tour with a headline run that kicks off July 29 at the Paper Mill in Syracuse, NY and includes a show at Los Angeles’ Music Box on August 14. A ticket pre-sale for the newly added dates is currently underway at

Tickets will go on sale to the general public this Friday, April 27. The band heads out with Jack White on May 15 for a series of sold-out dates. Alabama Shakes will play a free show in New York City’s Central Park on June 24 as part of the 2012 SummerStage concert series and perform at the Hangout, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Newport Folk, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands music festivals. See below for dates.

Available a week early on the iTunes Store, Alabama Shakes’ debut album, Boys & Girls (ATO Records), bowed in the Top 20 on The Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Independent Label chart. Last week, following its wide release, the album jumped to No. 8 on The Billboard 200. Released in Europe by Rough Trade, Boys & Girls debuted at No. 3 on the U.K. album chart.

“Compared to computer-tuned radio pop, or even the big-time pop-soul of a genuine singer like Adele, the Alabama Shakes sound raw-boned and proudly unprocessed,” said The New York Times’ Jon Pareles in a Sunday “Arts & Leisure” cover story. Entertainment Weekly put Boys & Girls on its ”Must List,”
the Los Angeles Times said it’s “as combustible as it is nuanced — and destined to be one of the albums of the summer” and Rolling Stone noted: “a White Stripes-ian sense of what-the-fuck discovery imbues a debut where even subtle things like ‘Heartbreaker’ swing like wrecking balls.”

“If [lead singer] Brittany Howard ever bugs you to be her baby (as she does repeatedly on Be Mine), you will give in,” said USA Today while the New York Daily News awarded Boys & Girls four stars, observing: “Howard sings a musical phrase like a track and field star throws a shot put. She’ll lean far back in a note, pausing to amass lung power and heft. Then, in a burst, she’ll hurl the phrase to the sky, hitting her target with the aim of an Olympian.” “Shakes numbers such as ‘Hold On’ and ‘You Ain’t Alone’ might be younger than Siri, but they have the consoling authority of standards,” said The Washington Post.

Alabama Shakes – comprising vocalist/guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, drummer Steve Johnson, and bassist Zac Cockrell – are based in Athens, AL and began playing together when they were in high school. Ben Tanner assists on keyboards. Boys & Girls – produced and mixed by the band – was recorded at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN.


5/15 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium with Jack White SOLD OUT
5/16 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium with Jack White SOLD OUT
5/18 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Music Fest SOLD OUT
5/19 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel with Jack White SOLD OUT
5/21 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom with Jack White SOLD OUT
5/22 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom with Jack White SOLD OUT
5/24 – Detroit, MI – Scottish Rite Theater with Jack White SOLD OUT
@ Masonic Temple
5/25-27 – Gorge, WA – Sasquatch Music Festival
6/7-10 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
6/22 – Richmond, VA – Friday Cheers at Brown’s Island
6/24 – New York, NY – Central Park–SummerStage w/Diamond Rugs, Robert Ellis FREE SHOW
7/28 – Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival
7/29 – Syracuse, NY – Paper Mill
7/31 – Indianapolis, IN – Vogue with Dry the River
8/2 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue with Dry the River
8/3-5 – Chicago, IL – Grant Park – Lollapalooza
8/10-12 – San Francisco, CA – Golden Gate Park – Outside Lands
8/14 – Los Angeles, CA – Music Box with Michael Kiwanuka
8/16 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

13 Apr

Alabama Shakes performed “Hold On” on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Watch the video below and pick up their album Boys & Girls on iTunes, Amazon MP3 (Only $5!), CD, or Vinyl

22 Mar

SXSW’s most buzzed about band, Alabama Shakes, played at the Hype Hotel last Thursday and put on another great show. A quick aside about the Hype Hotel, we love it there. There’s free drinks (well 2 drink tickets), free food and free music. You don’t even need an official SXSW wristband or pass. Sure you might have to wait in line for a bit but it’s worth it. Our photographer Phil DeSimone braved through the packed crowd to get some superb shots of the band. Check them out below:

08 Feb

Alabama Shakes performed “Hold On” and “I Ain’t The Same” on Conan.

Check out the videos and pick up their album Boys and Girls on April 10th (ATO Records).

17 Jan

Alabama Shakes Up Brooklyn by Tina Benitez

Jerry Lee Lewis once said “there’s nothin’ like tearing up a good club now and then,” and Alabama Shakes definitely have the ability to rip through a venue. Already breathy with visible beads of sweat on her forehead and neck just two songs into the band’s 15-song set at Brooklyn Bowl, singer Brittany Howard instantly set the tone for the remainder of the night. The first of three New York shows, including a secret show on Dec. 10 at the Lakeside Lounge, the Athens, Ala. quartet sold out each night. “There’s an awful lot of you,” said singer Brittany Howard. The band pounded through an hour-plus set—even distracting some serious bowlers from their timed game. One second Howard is melodically screeching like a reincarnated Janis Joplin, the next she’s rotating the stage more than the boys ripping through her Gibson like Chuck Berry.

Moving through songs from their EP and upcoming debut album, Boys & Girls, the band played heavy blues and more Motown flashbacks in “Hold On” and “You Ain’t Alone” with Howard evoking James Brown from her grunts down to the cool whip of her sweaty nose and brown. Midway through, Howard glossed over a popped G string on her guitar, and the band played on. Howard, along with guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell and drummer Steve Johnson, have indeed come a long way since their cover days two years ago from raved CMJ shows, a successful tour with Drive By Truckers and their upcoming gigs at this year’s SXSW. Even if Howard and co. emit a bounty of legends, there’s not an ounce of evidence that shows she, or they, fake any of it.

Photo by Tina Benitez. Check out more of Tina’s work at

17 Jan

Boys & Girls, the full-length debut album from Alabama Shakes, will be released in North America on April 10 by ATO Records. Rough Trade will release it internationally on April 9. (See below for track listing) Beginning today, fans can stream the album’s first single, “Hold On.”

Alabama Shakes will make its television debut on February 7 on “Conan.” The band will appear on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” on Tuesday, January 24, and its “World Cafe” session will air on NPR on January 26. Alabama Shakes’ current North American outing will include sold-out shows in Austin (1/21), Los Angeles (1/25 at the Troubadour), San Francisco (1/26 at The Independent), Portland (1/28 at Doug Fir Lounge) and Vancouver (1/29).

“Their raucous live shows are already the stuff of legend,” observed NME in a recent feature. Alabama Shakes’ February 22 show at Boston Arms was the first 2012 NME Awards show to sell out, so the band added two additional dates – February 23 and 24. (Feb. 23 is sold out.)

In a review of Alabama Shakes’ CMJ set, The New York Times’ Jon Pareles marveled: “Imagine a CMJ buzz band not built around some cool-headed concept involving noise or irony orcambiguities or primitivism. Imagine a band not trying to make a fashion or anti-fashion statement. Imagine a band whose vocals aren’t just something to put up with because that’s the songwriter singing. Imagine a band named after a place that actually comes from that place. And imagine a band whose New York City debut left a CMJ Music Marathon audience literally screaming for joy. That band would be Alabama Shakes…”

Alabama Shakes was named “New Band of the Year” by Paste Magazine and appeared on NPR Music’s list of favorite new artists while “Hold On” ranked as one of NPR Music’s “100 Favorite Songs of 2011.” As one of the emerging artists tapped by MTV for its 2012 “Artists to Watch” list, Alabama Shakes will be featured across MTV’s multiple channels and screens including MTV, MTV2 and Check out Alabama Shakes performing “You Ain’t Alone” at the MTV O Awards.

“’You Ain’t Alone’ is about as real as you can get,” blogged Justin Gage when he premiered the track on last July, bringing the unknown Athens, AL band to national attention. Alabama Shakes recorded Boys & Girls at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN. Produced and mixed by the band members, the album is a vibrant fusion of swampy dirty South rock, blues and soul delivered with punk rock fervor.

Alabama Shakes – comprising vocalist/guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, drummer Steve Johnson and bassist Zac Cockrell – began playing together when they were in high school. Ben Tanner assists on keyboards.

NPR’s Ann Powers called Howard, now 23, “a young woman living in the now, wrapping her arms around a tradition without letting it carry her away” while noted: “Her rollercoaster-like delivery makes her vocal melodies themselves lyrical—they tell stories and convey eternal truths, beyond even the plaintive narratives embedded in her words.”

Jack White’s Third Man Records has selected Alabama Shakes to kick off its series of live 45 releases.
The two-song 7” from the band’s fall 2011 session at Third Man in Nashville, is due out in late January.

The track listing for Boys & Girls is as follows:
1. Hold On
2. I Found You
3. Hang Loose
4. Rise To The Sun
5. You Ain’t Alone
6. Goin’ To The Party
7. Heartbreaker
8. Boys & Girls
9. Be Mine
10. I Ain’t The Same
11. On Your Way

Tour Dates

1/19 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks w/Hurray for the Riff Raff, Tumbleweeds
1/20 – Houston, TX – Continental Club w/Nick Gaitan & The Umbrella Man
1/21 – Austin, TX – Continental Club w/Mudflap SOLD OUT
1/24 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up w/Terraplane Sun
1/25 – West Hollywood, CA – The Troubadour w/Dry The River SOLD OUT
1/26 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent w/Dry The River SOLD OUT
1/28 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge w/Quiet Life SOLD OUT
1/29 – Vancouver, BC – The Media Club w/Quiet Life SOLD OUT
1/31 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile Club w/Quiet Life
2/2 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room
2/4 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theater w/A. Tom Collins
2/22 – London, UK – Boston Arms SOLD OUT
2/23 – London, UK – Boston Arms SOLD OUT
2/24 – London, UK – Boston Arms
3/10 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
3/23 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Bama Theater w/Dexateens & Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
3/29 – Oxford, MS – Proud Larry’s
3/31 – Birmingham, AL – Work Play Theatre

More On Alabama Shakes:
Official Site