You got to hoooooooooooooold on
April 24, 2012 9:49 PM   Subscribe

Alabama Shakes - Hold On

Alabama Shakes are an up and coming rock-soul band from Athens, Alabama (wiki link). They released their first full-length album on April 9th 2012 ( review).

More Tracks:
You Ain't Alone
I Found You
I Found You (acoustic)
Hang Loose
Heavy Chevy
Rise to the Sun
posted by Doleful Creature (50 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I like this performance of "Hold On" a lot better.
posted by mrbill at 10:00 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is sweet. Thanks for posting it.
posted by fshgrl at 10:04 PM on April 24, 2012

we bought the vinyl - worth every penny. it's a great cooking eggs&sausage&hash while drinking a sunday morning beer sort of record. also, the design choices on the record sleeve and insert and such are so much more striking and pretty when you're holding it. i was unimpressed when i just saw pictures online and the design of their site, but everything about it is tasteful.

here's an interview/article that guitarist, heath fogg, did where he goes track by track. my favorite part of it is when he's talking about going to the party, he says "Brittany wrote that song about sneaking out of her house and coming to see my old band play at a house party."

finally, if we're listing our favorite performances of hold on, i'm going to have to nominate this one (also, i found you from the same set).

on preview - heh. jimmythefish and i agree on the best hold on performance.
posted by nadawi at 10:07 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Obs 1: They're new to me. Thank you.

Obs 2: The singer's reading glasses made me love them even more, and I now realize I'm old.

Obs 3: She has an awesome combination of Stevie Ray and Janis. Between that and the reading glasses, I'm totally sold.

Thanks again. Old person signing out.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:08 PM on April 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

oh and i very, very rarely suggest this because i'm nearly always in favor of ordering straight from the artist, but it's just 12 bucks with amazon prime. if you order it direct from them, after S&H, it's $23ish.
posted by nadawi at 10:10 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Personally, I think you can't really beat this performance of hold on.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:15 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Credit BitterOldPunk for first introducing Alabama Shakes to MeFi (but not by name). Surprised they hadn't been fully "FPP-ed" yet, especially after wowing the hipsters at SXSW last month (I swear it was all over my RSS reader).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:19 PM on April 24, 2012

Here's their whole set at SXSW this year (scroll down below 11 minute video for link to download audio of full 50 minute set).
posted by twsf at 10:21 PM on April 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

She has an awesome combination of Stevie Ray and Janis.

Replace Stevie Ray with Levi Stubbs from the Four Tops, she's got the depth and urgency that you find in all of his best songs.
posted by peeedro at 10:37 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hold on?
posted by MetalFingerz at 10:42 PM on April 24, 2012

Surprised they hadn't been fully "FPP-ed" yet,

Yes I was surprised by this as well...can't remember if I heard of them first from BitterOldPunk or someone else in an AskMe thread but either way, they totally deserve as much exposure as possible.

Heh, nadawi and jimmythefish, that version of Hold On was the one I was originally going to post (it's my favorite too), but the version I found was too quiet...the version you posted is much louder. Sheesh youtube can be so hard to search on sometimes.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:46 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

i don't mean to squat this thread, it's just, the whole album is worth a listen. i put it in my headphones due to this post and i just got to heartbreaker - and man, if she doesn't break your heart you need to make sure you still have one.
posted by nadawi at 11:36 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Last June or July, one of their videos gets picked up by the music blog Aquarium Drunkard. It gets the attention of one of the blog's readers, Pat Hood of Drive-By Truckers, who tracks down lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard (who is working for the post office in Athens, Alabama at the time). He invites the band to open a few shows for DBT. By October, they're headlining a CMJ showcase show. By December, they've all quit their day jobs, have professional representation, and are shopping their demo to labels. By April, they've played sold-out shows in the UK and US, their album hits #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the UK charts.

It's an amazing story. They're an amazing band. If you have the chance to see them live, do so. Elizarde and I saw them last December in Birmingham in a small club that was packed to capacity. They started slowly, ratcheting things up with every tune. By the end of the show the crowd was sweaty and gasping and transported - glorious, truly one of the best shows I've EVER seen.

As it happens, their attorney is based in Birmingham, and I kinda know the guy as friends-of-friends. He's a former professional musician himself, who played in a couple of popular indie rock bands in the 80s and 90s. During the Shakes set, I turned to him and said, "We're watching something really special happen here, aren't we?" He grinned and mopped sweat off his face and replied, "Fuck yeah we are."

And here's the capper. Because they'd been on such a whirlwind, the Shakes hadn't spent much time at home. So before the show, a whole group of old people came into the club and quietly were ushered backstage. It was all of the band members parents. See, they had picked that night to shoot their first "official" video, and they wanted their moms and dads to be there with them.


Anyway, from everything I've heard from people who know, this band is not only super-talented, super charismatic, and super soulful, they're also really nice smart level-headed people who've surrounded themselves with quality people and are intent on being in the music business for the long run.

In three years, Alabama Shakes will be a household name, you'll hear their music everywhere, and EVERYONE will know who Brittany Howard is.

And it couldn't have happened to a more-deserving bunch.

Again: the album's pretty damn good, but GO SEE THIS BAND LIVE. They are absolutely transcendent.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:11 AM on April 25, 2012 [26 favorites]

Why, how is it that I never noticed this gaping hole in my iTunes library between Aimee Mann and Alabama 3? These tracks will be the perfect fit as soon as that album is released.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:33 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh snap! Its April! They'll be the perfect fit tonight.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:34 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

They oughta cut you a slice of the ticket sales, BitterOldPunk. I just bought two for the show in Indy.
posted by Roman Graves at 12:48 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

BitterOldPunk linked to that video jimmythefish posted awhile back. Bought the EP about 37 seconds after it was done. It's been in heavy rotation ever since. This was an excellent reminder to go buy the full album. Thanks.
posted by gompa at 12:52 AM on April 25, 2012

Again: the album's pretty damn good, but GO SEE THIS BAND LIVE. They are absolutely transcendent.

Yesterday afternoon they announced a show less than ten minutes walk from my house. But I already have tickets that night for New Order. OK I think, I'll swap the NO tickets for their other night. Too late, the Alabama Shakes show is already sold out.

Oh well. I'm seeing them at a festival in September, anyway :) [And people on that festival forum have been raving about them for months; I can see why now]
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:46 AM on April 25, 2012

I've been doing nothing but listening to this since it was posted. I especially love this Letterman performance because he is so darned excited about them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:52 AM on April 25, 2012

There was a MeFi thread in December that first exposed me to them, for which I'm very thankful. 2012 has been a pretty shit year for me, but at least I've got Hold On to help me get through it.
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:19 AM on April 25, 2012

Wow, what a great voice. The band is good too. They must have an amazing record collection ;)
posted by carter at 4:46 AM on April 25, 2012

Damn. Thanks. They hit that early 70s Stones/Al Green sweet spot perfectly. The way they use keyboards is delicious. Looks like they're mostly in Europe until the fall, but I'll sure wait for *that*.
posted by mediareport at 5:05 AM on April 25, 2012

The keyboards are wonderful, and remind me of Van Morrison. They are going to be huge on the festival circuit, and rightly so.
posted by carter at 5:27 AM on April 25, 2012

Yay, Alabama Shakes. They played a show here in Nashville last September as kind of a last minute addition to the lineup that I thought about going to but felt lazy and didn't. Midway through the evening my twitter feed starts blowing up with "OMG this band is awesome" "Alabama Shakes are absolutely killing it!" etc. I pulled them up on the youtubes and watched a live video of "I Found You" and had bought their EP from their site before the song was over and have listened to their stuff a ton since.

Still haven't seen them live though :(
posted by ghharr at 5:38 AM on April 25, 2012

Oh, man, even when the early 70s Stones thing is so obvious you have to smile, they fucking nail it.
posted by mediareport at 5:39 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah I think BOP turned me on to the band but I think it was through something he said on twitter. The man knows good when he hears it.
posted by Sailormom at 6:04 AM on April 25, 2012

They're pretty insane live, and probably best in smaller/midsize venues since they can dominate the room more effectively; I saw them at Lincoln Hall a while back and it was fantastic.
posted by aramaic at 6:06 AM on April 25, 2012

I'm really excited about these guys. They're performing June 22 in Richmond, VA, a month or so after my band headlines at the same summer concert series.
posted by emelenjr at 6:30 AM on April 25, 2012

OK, yeah, I have to re-interject: seriously, see them live, preferably indoors, preferably in a not-huge venue (at a guess, I'd say aim for sub-500 capacity). Goddamn.

Nothing against outdoors or large venues, mind, but holy crap they destroy the place when they're in a small box.
posted by aramaic at 6:37 AM on April 25, 2012

Can we all just agree to rename them "Brittany Howard and The Alabama Shakes?"

That girl is a star.
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 6:40 AM on April 25, 2012

Love this band and again thanks to BOP for clueing me in on the magic. Wish they would play around here.
posted by octothorpe at 6:40 AM on April 25, 2012

I was sorry I missed them at SXSW but they're on my list.
posted by immlass at 7:18 AM on April 25, 2012

Fantastic...Brittany's voice just blew me right away and sent me off to download the album. I won't hold my breath for a Japan tour but the nice small size of our venues sure would suit their sound!
posted by squasha at 7:56 AM on April 25, 2012

I saw Alabama Shakes live a week ago and I have to say that if you have the chance you absolutely should not pass up this show. Very funky, very soulful, and really an uplifting, emotional show. One of the best new artists I've seen in years. The whole album is worth it also.
posted by adamd1 at 8:14 AM on April 25, 2012

Love this! Can't wait for lunchtime and my headphones to give these a good listening.
posted by tommasz at 8:29 AM on April 25, 2012

Just bought tickets to the Minneapolis show in August on the strength of this MetaFilter post. Sounds right up my alley. Go team MeFi!
posted by stompadour at 9:09 AM on April 25, 2012

Alabama Shakes' "Boys and Girls" is the local NPR station's "CD of the Week", so for just a second there I thought, "Whoa, somebody's PR agent is working overtime!".

Until I realized it's just a local NPR station. Metafilter has a wider market... but they really are great.

So, Doleful Creature, you get a pass this time - but I'm watching you!
posted by IAmBroom at 9:46 AM on April 25, 2012

Ha! They were on Later with Jools Holland just last night, which presumably means they're doing some dates in the UK.
posted by ComfySofa at 11:15 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

the jools link is restricted. here's youtube for anyone who can't get it there.
hold on
be mine
posted by nadawi at 12:31 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hey, thanks for this. Great sound. They kind of remind me of the Stones mixed with Janis. Then again, everything reminds me of the Stones.
posted by k8lin at 1:50 PM on April 25, 2012

I'm always downloading free tracks that I think from the previews might suit my interests. And then I always forget to go back and listen to the whole songs. Just checked, and I have two copies of "Hold On"—one from iTunes and the other from Google Play. So I guess I must like their sound. Thanks for the reminder.
posted by Knappster at 2:32 PM on April 25, 2012

I'm always downloading free tracks
posted by Knappster at 2:32 PM on April 25 [+] [!]

posted by Doleful Creature at 2:38 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ooh, love them! Brand new to me, and what a wonderful feeling their music brings. Hope I get to see them live and as prescribed soon.

BitterOldPunk's description made me tear up and laugh at the same time. Oddly good feeling. Should be on their site somewhere as a testimonial.
posted by batmonkey at 6:04 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can we all just agree to rename them "Brittany Howard and The Alabama Shakes?"

Absofuckinglutely not. That is so damn wrong. If you can't see and hear that the guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and drummer are as much an integral part of that band's sound as the singer, then I honestly don't know what to say to you. Good lord. Ugh. Shit. Yech.

Etc. I have no words.
posted by mediareport at 8:19 PM on April 25, 2012

Checked the tour list. No love for Little Rock.

I now have a sworn enemy.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2012

If you actually live in Little Rock I rather suspect you have more than one sworn enemy., y'know, not exactly feeling the urgency here.
posted by aramaic at 4:06 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

And, OK, now that the thread is dying I have to admit: I wish I was their bassist.
posted by aramaic at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2012

Saw but skipped this thread earlier. Just heard them on Q. Fuck. I'm converted.
posted by maudlin at 8:18 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Missed the thread the first time around but it caught my eye today in the Recent Comments list as I'm currently in the middle of the PRS show/podcast Sound Opinions from April 13, which features an interview and three live performances from Alabama Shakes. Highly recommended for any fan or anybody who might still be watching this thread.
posted by KatlaDragon at 5:55 AM on May 1, 2012

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