Do you have those moments where you hear a song for the first time and it just connects? It seems to come out of nowhere and the moment it starts it’s like you have always known it and you are shocked by your own response.
I have had this happen to me a handful of times. I am a firm believer music should not be hard work. Music is something should resonate in the lowest, most guttural place in your person. That is why as I have gotten older I become more understanding when people love, I mean really love, Puddle Of Mudd, Ke$ha or something else I look down on (I’m not proud of this, but it is what it is.)
Well, I had a moment this week where it happened again. Alabama Shakes released their much anticipated debut album “Boys and Girls.” The first track off of the album hit me square in my jaw. It starts with simple drums and some slow guitar and builds to something that makes me want to put my fist through a wall, in a completely existential way.
Their music in some ways is a return to something more historical or traditional. It has the blues and soul feel of Wilson Pickett and Mama Thornton but what sets it apart from other “vintage” or “nostalgia” bands is that they are clearly musically literate and are familiar with the larger canon of music. They claim influences from Hip Hop and Led Zepplin. It is rare to get something so clean and dirty at the sam time in this current state of music, but Alabama Shakes reminds us that music is simple. It lives in a familiar place.
Watch them nod their heads. So boss.
I think Stevie Wonder said it best in his song Sir Duke:
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
I know exactly what he means, and if I could be so bold and say, Alabame Shakes you are in the groove.