Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday October 1st 2014

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Shakin’ Things Up

By Hana Frenette

Alabama Shakes is a very no-frills band. No big production, no props, no gimmicks. Just slightly twangy rock accompanied by one of the best soul voices born before 1950. And lots of sweat.

Upon first listening to one of their songs, it’d be easy to assume it was decades older than it is. Brittany Howard’s voice pays such great homage to Etta James you’d think there was some similar DNA in there somewhere.

However, the band has made it very clear they’re not trying to recreate anything. This isn’t the reincarnation of soul music to today’s youth. This is just a band playing what they like to play.

Howard was working her day job, delivering mail and playing music with three guys she met in high school when the good ol’ Internet brought a flood of publicity.

The band’s song, “You Ain’t Alone” was posted on the Los Angeles based music blog Aquarium Drunkard. Literally overnight, producers, publicists and music fans in general were curious about the unglamorously captivating band from Athens, Ala.

After dozens of offers from big time record labels, the band decided to sign with ATO Records and record and release their debut album, “Boys and Girls.”

In the midst of their mounting fame, Alabama Shakes encountered another frenzy inducing event: the offer to tour with Jack White. The band accepted the offer and will be embarking on an extended tour this summer with White to England, Europe and a plethora of small clubs in the U.S.

See them now – while you can – before the riots and the Rolling Stone reviews start getting too serious.

ALABAMA SHAKES
Friday 2:15-3:15 p.m., Chevrolet Stage