Seriously, if you happen to suddenly experience cardiac arrest and there’s no defibrillator in sight, the next best thing would be an iPod playing the debut album, Boys & Girls by Alabama Shakes, with the volume turned all the way up.
Seriously, if you listen to Boys & Girls and still don’t have a pulse, well, you’re a zombie and have bigger problems to deal with.
But, as I mentioned in a post from May 2010, I also love Rock & Roll music from the late 1960s through the mid 1970s.
Perfect for me, then, that Alabama Shakes plays the most delicious blend of old-school, lo-fi, passion-filled Soul Rock music that I’ve heard in a long, long time.
Out in front with a voice reminiscent of Etta James and Janis Joplin, and yet a voice all her own, is the amazing powerhouse: Brittany Howard. There are times on this record when she startles with sudden bursts of feeling, bursts that the lo-fi, analog production can barely handle, which adds a rawness that I like a lot. Give me some analog noise over squeaky clean, hyper-produced, obviously digital music any day.
Now, add Heath Fogg’s tasty hollow-body guitar licks and a spot-on rhythm section, and you’ve got the makings for some great, great music.
Here are three illustrative performances from Later with Jools Holland.