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Alabama Shakes Biography

Home > Music > A > Alabama Shakes > Biography

Birth Place: Athens, Alabama
Years Active: –present
Genres: Southern Rock, Soul, Americana, Blues-rock, Garage Rock

Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009. The band was originally formed when lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard approached bassist Zac Cockrell during a high school psychology class and began meeting after school to write songs. Howard and Cockrell experimented with many different styles of music including roots rock, progressive rock, soul music, country music and classic rock. The pair later approached drummer Steve Johnson, who was working at a local music store, to join the band and the trio soon went to a studio in Decatur, Alabama and recorded some of the songs they were writing. Guitarist Heath Fogg joined the band after asking the group to open for his band, to which they agreed on the grounds that Fogg play with them. Newly christened “The Shakes” were so well received, they decided to continue playing together and Fogg became their full time guitarist. The band later renamed in order to differentiate themselves from other bands called the Shakes.

Alabama Shakes released the four-song EP “Alabama Shakes” in September 2011, which gained widespread media attention. In November 2011 the band was signed by Rough Trade Records in the United Kingdom and ATO Records in the United States. The band's first full length album, “Boys & Girls,” was issued in April 2012. The album peaked at #8 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums chart and at #3 on the U.K. Albums chart.