I'm in Florida on vacation and the other night I had dinner with my brother Ralph, his wife Corinne, their kids Lizzy and Ralph, and Anne, Ralph's girlfriend. Just before dinner, my nephew Ralph fired up Spotify on his computer and we went for it, both of us throwing out names of bands we liked and listening to their music in a matter of seconds. "Have you heard the Alabama Shakes?", Ralph says. "No", I say. A quick click...and "Hold On" came streaming out of his computer speakers.
Lead singer Brittany Howard's voice commands the space immediately and the band lays down a soulful, spare and tempting groove. They are from Athens, Alabama and over the last six months have started to capture some ears and attention. They recorded a four song EP in East Nashville, have opened for the Drive-By-Truckers and are due to release a full-length record this year on ATO.