Music Mondays: Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes have already had a pretty stellar year and it's not even March yet. The Athens, Alabama band not only received Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Performance, but the foursome also rocked out on Saturday Night Live. It really doesn't matter that the group didn't win a Grammy because the momentum behind their music is unstoppable and increasing. With dynamic and soulful tracks like "I Ain't the Same," there's no reason for Alabama Shakes to produce over-the-top videos. If you ask the band's hardcore fans, what everyone really needs to experience is a stage show where the group's stirring, jarring, borderline life-changing live performance is guaranteed to leave its everlasting mark.

Lead vocalist Brittany Howard met bassist Zac Cockrell in a high school psychology class. The duo began writing original music with notes of soul, punk and even heavy metal. Drummer Steve Johnson used to work at the one music store in Athens and was recruited by Brittany to join the band. The three bandmates recorded a demo, which impressed fellow musician Heath Fogg. He invited the band to open for his group, but only if he could play with the Shakes, the name the band was playing under back then. As a fully-formed band, the Shakes performed covers along with original music and after an influential music blogger posted one of the group's tracks on his site, it wasn't long before labels came calling. Brittany was able to quit her job as a mail carrier and Steve gave up his job as a night watchman at a nuclear power plant. The band went on to change their name and released a debut album, Boys & Girls, last year. Songs like the heartfelt anthem, “Hold On,” have helped make the album a must-listen. There's an authenticity about Alabama Shakes we absolutely adore. Sure, Brittany's rousing voice has been compared to Janis Joplin, but this modern-day band has a decidedly unique appeal ranging from low-down blues to extreme guitar riffs and some underlying folk sensibilities. The end result is nothing sort of spectacular.

Watch the video for "I Ain't the Same" below before heading over to I AM THAT GIRL YouTube channel. While you're there, don't forget to tune into our Music Mondays playlist, which is updated every week.

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