Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From The Shelf: Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls (2012)


Alabama Shakes
Boys & Girls
ATO Records

Thank God for Brittany Howard and the Alabama Shakes. The soulful blues ache in her voice almost makes you want to cry. If you're like me and was raised on your parents Motown albums, then listening to their debut LP Boys & Girls is like a sweet memory you didn't even know you had. Occasionally affected by coffee shop impulse buying, this is the first album I've bought at a Starbucks that I didn't regret after three tracks. Filled with some of the most emotionally bold soul music to be played in over four decades this album is a must for anyone that loves Aretha Franklin, Carol King or Otis Redding.

From the aching groove of "Hold On" to the driving build of the closing  track this album is an audio time machine through the history of soul. There's the subtle rocking pew sway of the 50's in the title track "Boys & Girls."  "Rise to the Sun" on the other hand personifies the dancing shake of the heyday of 60's soul, while "I Found You" is the strutting gize and attitude rich flavor of Apollo nights of the politically charged 70's.

Stylistically and emotionally rich this album is amazing from start to finish. It has the three element that make all truly great soul music; Amazing instrumentation, a voice that can knock you to the grounds and faith. If the band can stay true to all three of these  facets then they are sure to be with us for a long while and will find the recognition that they truly deserve.   
 

Living Room Performance: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit "Danko/Manuel"

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - "Danko/Manuel"
WorkPlay Birmingham, Alabama
August 17th, 2012



Having launched his career as a songwriting member of the Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell has spent the last several years proving his individual greatness as the lead of his own band the 400 Unit. Isbell released his first full-length live album Live From Alabama  just yesterday. So in honor of the occasion we've posted this performance. Enjoy