Alabama Shakes: Hang Loose

A New Track from the Much-Hyped Garage Band Rocking the Heart of Dixie

Echoing the distinctive sounds of fellow Yellowhammer Motown stars Martha and the Vandellas, Southern rockers Alabama Shakes share the swampy soulful blues of “Hang Loose.” The group initially formed three years ago as a one-show-only covers act after singer Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell failed a psychology class together while at high school in Athens and needed something to assuage their boredom. “People saw a girl with a guitar and thought she was going to play love songs,” recalls Howard. “They didn’t expect to see me play the end solo to 'Let There Be Rock' by AC/DC. That was the best feeling.” Instantly hooked on playing live, the duo added guitarist Heath Fogg and drummer Steve Johnson to the lineup and subsequently became an internet sensation after a stirring performance of single “Hold On” in a record store in Florence, Alabama, went viral. With a celebrity following including Adele, Artic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, and Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant, this week the band release their eagerly anticipated debut album, Boys & Girls, while in May the quartet will open for Jack White on the US leg of his world tour.

Portrait by Autumn de Wilde.

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