This is a past event.

Alabama Shakes 

When: Thu., Jan. 26, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $18

The Alabama Shakes have a sound that's universally appealing: sweet, soulful, distinctly American. The Southern four-piece came out of nowhere at the end of 2011, crawling out of the woodwork of Bandcamp with a sizzling debut. The band members  were quickly booked up for sessions and lauded by major outlets like MTV and NPR, and now on their first trip to the West Coast, they're already packing concert halls. Fronted by the Gibson SG-wielding vocal powerhouse Brittany Howard, the Shakes run the gamut of American genres, drawing from slave songs, blues, Motown, all the way up to newer soul. And at only four tracks, their debut EP Alabama Shakes packs a massive punch. Opener "Hold On" is a propulsive personal anthem, while "You Ain't Alone" is a touching, slow building ballad in which Howard channels the unmistakable emotion of James Brown. In between is a constantly evolving collage, of Sixties soul, gospel refrains, exhaustive emotion being the only constant. At The Independent (628 Divisadero St., San Francisco) on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m., $18,

— Will Butler


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