Alabama Shakes rocked the SNL stage as the musical guest last weekend with their hits “Hold On” and “Always Right,” in an episode that featured Christoph Waltz as the host.
The group consists of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson.
They received three nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards: for best new artist; for best rock performance, for “Hold On”; and for best recording package with their first album, Boys and Girls.
The band made their first U.S. television appearance last year on Conan and the Late Show with David Letterman for his birthday episode.
“Alabama Shakes” originated when Howard and Cockrell, both attending East Limestone High School in Athans, began meeting after school to write songs.
The two played progressive rock and other genres, but soon found a calling playing roots rock.
They approached drummer Steve Johnson, who was working at a local music store, asking him to join the band and soon the trio went to Clearwave Recording Studio. That’s when they hooked up with producer Jeremy Stephens the time Fogg joined the band.
Although they had been working on original material, they worked up cover songs by Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Otis Redding, AC/DC and others to fill a “one show only” 45-minute set, under the name, The Shakes.
The band later added Alabama to their name to differentiate themselves.