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Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers $19.37      The Wonder Years $17.56      Hedley $44.65      Steve Miller Band $59.17      Skrillex $44.75      Dave Matthews Band $56.07      Lyle Lovett $60.74      Caked Up $19.71      Alton Brown $50.38      SoMo $18.58      Steve Aoki $36.77      Darkside $22.19      The Expendables $17.38      Attila $16.04      Jason Aldean $48.43      Nickel Creek $40.38      Jim Brickman $40.82      Widespread Panic $44.86      Get The Led Out - The American Led Zeppelin $28.05      Gramatik $23.60      Imagine Dragons $38.79      Blitzen Trapper $19.29      OneRepublic $35.20      Jeff Dunham $48.63      Mannheim Steamroller $56.73      John Legend $67.37      Lindsey Stirling $28.95      Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons $70.76      Danny Bhoy $38.34      The Fresh Beat Band $39.59      Brit Floyd $40.91      Drive-By Truckers $27.41      Neko Case $35.59      Sleeping With Sirens $22.73      Alice In Chains $48.91      Charlie Wilson $61.97      Neutral Milk Hotel $35.62      Celtic Woman $57.81      Hank3 $20.91      Jay Z $110.54      Bassnectar $38.37      Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis $53.77      Donny & Marie Osmond $88.68      The Robert Cray Band $42.64      Chris Tomlin $28.31      Yonder Mountain String Band $27.15      John Hiatt $56.81      Keith Urban $51.46      Lorde $42.39      Bryan Adams $55.38      
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12:01 AM Friday, 3/30/12 |   |

Brittany Howard could become music’s most famous ex-postal worker since John Prine, but with a gut-wrenching voice that recalls more Lorraine Ellison than the mailman from Chicago.

The Alabama Shakes, behind Howard’s magnificent voice and a nice boost from  Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood, gained the attention of tastemakers from Jack White to Adele long before becoming a buzz band at the recent South by Southwest music conference. And the band’s debut Boys & Girls isn’t due for release until April 9.

The four-piece from Athens, Ala. – vocalist and guitarist Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell and drummer Steve Johnson – was originally dubbed simply The Shakes. But when it was discovered another band was already using the moniker, they decided to acknowledge their Southern roots and added Alabama.

With a new name and an EP barely recorded, a regional music blog posted a track from Alabama Shakes’ four-song EP. Hood heard it, and was sold. Within a couple of months, the band was opening for Drive-By Truckers.

From there, Alabama Shakes took New York’s CMJ Music Marathon and won fans including NPR’s Ann Powers and the New York Times’ Jon Pareles, who lauded Howard for authenticity in an era of pre-packaged, neo-soul hitmakers.

Their music is a decidedly Southern amalgam of roots, blues, soul, country and straight-up rock ’n’ roll, with strong songs like “You Ain’t Alone” and “Hold On,” from the forthcoming album. And that voice – at turns wrought with soulful emotion like Ellison, swagger like Plant, and a wail like Janis – is undeniable.

Howard is likely done with her days delivering mail. Alabama Shakes will spend at least part of the spring opening for Jack White, including two nights each at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and NYC’s Roseland Ballroom, in between treks to the United Kingdom and Ireland.


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