The Alabama Shakes
The Alabama Shakes is akin to a gumbo, where a flurry of ingredients are tossed into one pot and mixed together to form one distinct, yet totally delectable taste. The band’s personality is reflective of their own songs, like their Grammy-winning “Don’t Want To Fight” which is a rich funk tune, to their southern rock Grammy-nominated ballad “Hold On.”
In an interview, the band’s vocalist and guitarist Brittany Murphy have said that when asked what kind of band they were, even they do not know what to respond to that question. Their story begins like any other – performing at bars and clubs around the Southeast for two years. They also took this opportunity to find their sound and practice their writing.
The Alabama Shakes are now one of the most celebrated bands in recent years both in and out of the southern roots circuit. The raw star power that this band wields is absolutely breathtaking.
Their Debut Single “Hold On”
“Hold On” starts off with modest drum beats, followed by some light guitar accompaniments. Howard’s honeysuckle voice sings the chorus after that. She sings about holding on despite tough times and mentions that there must be some type of divine power that is cheering her on.
The song feels largely personal, as Howard uses her first name in two of the verses. It is as if she is singing to herself. The whole vibe of the song is a perfectly crafted blend of rugged southern rock, with the heavy influences of blues, especially with how Howard sings the chorus of the song.
“Hold On” is like a good pick-me-up on a bad day. It has the right amount of liveliness. And yet it manages to retain the gentle reminder to… well, hold on. At the end of the “Hold On”, Howard ad-libs with examples when to hold on and I think that adds a really nice touch.
Listen to the song here!
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Hold On, Roots Rock, Southern Rock