They’ve been around for a few years now, but I heard the group Alabama Shakes for the first time just a couple days ago. Their video “Joe” was on the side bar on YouTube. The still photo of Brittany Howard caught my attention because she looks like she could be the sister of a friend of mine. I clicked on the video, the one where they appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show, and I was blown away. I heard rock, soul, reggae and gospel in one song.
What presence Howard has! I wish I had just one quarter of her confidence. I couldn’t stop watching her. She didn’t just sing, she PERFORMED. You could tell she had that audience in her palm that night!
Alabama Shakes are real people; real, beautiful people as opposed to a group that’s been packaged and corporatized by the entertainment industry. You can hear the freedom in their music.
I’ve seen some huge names perform in concert, but that video of Howard singing “Joe” was the best performance I’ve seen since I saw Luther Vandross perform live in the mid 90’s. Her musicians and back up singers are also incredibly talented. I couldn’t stop re-playing the video. It’s been a long time since music has been able to move me. With so much sadness lately, music just hasn’t been a priority for me. I think Alabama Shakes pulled me out of a slump. They’re touring now and I just wish them the best of everything!