January 17 2012
One of the bands that received a lot of buzz last year was the very soulful Alabama Shakes. The Athens, Alabama band was the talk of the CMJ festival back in October. 88Nine first featured their music on 'Are You Feeling This' back in October.
Alabama Shakes received a lot of record labels, and finally signed to ATO Records and will be releasing their debut release entitled "Boys & Girls" on April 10, 2012. NPR named them one of the best bands of 2011.The band has also announced a tour to support the album, which includes stops at SXSW and here in Milwaukee on March 10 at The Pabst Theater. You definitely do not want to miss this electrifying show.
Overwhelmed by the response they've already received, there is one perception of the band that they want to challenge. "A lot of people think we're a soul revival act," says Cockrell. "That's an honor to me, classic R&B is my favorite kind of music, but everybody has their own influences. Brittany is way more into rock and roll—she likes things pretty amped up most of the time."
"Retro soul is not what we’re going for, though it's understandable why people say it," says Howard. "We take inspiration from that, but we all understand Black Sabbath, too. On the record, we left a lot of room for whatever we want to do in the future."
The release of Boys & Girls marks the arrival of a major new rock and roll band. To the members themselves, though, what's been most exciting has been the reaction they have felt on stage, whether tiny local dates or under the glare of the media.
"It seems like everyone can tell how into it we are," says Cockrell. "Every show, people say they can feel how much we love what we're doing."
Alabama Shakes will also release a 7" that includes a collaboration with Jack White and will be release on his label Third Man Records. The single will be due out late January. In the meantime take a listen to the song "Hold On," which will be on Alabama Shakes debut album. Don't forget to check out their self-title ep, which is available now.