With soul and passion unrivaled in much of today's music, lead singer Brittany Howard and band Heath Fogg, Zac Cockrell, and Steve Johnson create something that is truly incredible. Alabama Shakes, hailing originally from Athens, Alabama, infuse their music with hard driving melodies and rhythm, producing a final musical product that shakes listeners to the very core. The band played CMJ in October and was received with rave reviews, and their debut four-song EP has just been released to similar acclaim. Alabama Shakes were also featured as a recent World Cafe: Next group, performing the song "I Found You." On this and all the band's tracks, Howard's vocal prowess is simply amazing; her voice shines with honesty, grit, and soul that translate to astoundingly powerful songs. The band are almost finished recording their full length debut, which is set to be released in January.
"We are overwhelmingly impressed by Alabama Shakes due in large part to front woman Brittany Howard, a 23 year old power house singer and guitarist who channels Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, old soul and rock, with the wisdom of ages well beyond her youthfulness," says Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. "Howard is a powerful singer and when she performs she becomes possessed by the songs - she truly becomes the music."
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month's featured artist click here.
Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN's commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.