The Alabama Shakes are shaking their way over to Red Rocks Amphitheater on August 16 this summer. The American roots rock group has been together since 2009 and are set to release their second album in April 2015. The gruff powerhouse vocals of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard have been compared to Janice Joplin and the group has been praised on their musicianship and energetic performances.
Howard and bassist Zac Cockrel met in high school in their hometown near Athens, Alabama. The two began writing music and recorded their first demo album with drummer Steve Johnson. After hearing the demo, guitarist Heath Fogg joined the group and they had their first performance where they went by the name The Shakes. They later added Alabama to the name differentiate themselves from another music group. The group’s first EP Alabama Shakes helped them garner some media attention from NPR, the CMJ Music Marathon industry showcase in New York, as well as The New York Times. After their song “You Ain’t Alone” was used in a Zales TV ad, MTV listed them as one of the top 11 artists to watch in 2012.
The group has quickly risen to fame and have played in several prestigious venues like the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee and the Music Box Theater in Los Angeles. They have also been a part of the festival circuit and played the closing show for the Bonnaroo music festival in 2012 and the Newport Music Festival the same year.
The Alabama Shakes have caught the attention of several iconic music stars and have performed alongside Jack White and Stevie Wonder. After the release of their first album in 2013 the group received three Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, Best Rock performance of their single “Hold On,” and Best Recording Package for the album Boys and Girls. Their media appearances include late night talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Saturday Night Live and their music has been featured critically acclaimed films like Silver Linings Playbook and 12 Years a Slave.