Alabama Shakes: The powerhouse band that just swept the rock categories at the Grammys

Alabama Shakes

Musicians Heath Fogg, Brittany Howard, Steve Johnson, and Zac Cockrell of Alabama Shakes, who won three awards at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 15.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

For a band that only a few years ago was pounding out Southern rock for hometown Alabama crowds, the Alabama Shakes stirred up a ruckus at the Grammys.

The band, co-founded by Brittany Howard, was nominated for the prestigious album of the year award for its captivating 2015 album “Sound and Color.” Though it lost to Taylor Swift’s “1989,” the band ran the table in the rock categories.

Grammys 2016: Full coverage | Best and worst dressed | Red carpet | Show highlights | Nominees and winners | Top nominees 

The Shakes beat out Grammy favorites Foo Fighters (as well as Florence and the Machine, Wolf Alice and Elle King) in the rock performance category, and carried away awards for rock song and alternative album. The band’s engineers on the album, Shawn Everett and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, won a trophy for engineered album, non-classical, as well. 


Though the Shakes have been nominated three times before, Monday’s trophies were their first. 

“I never thought I’d be here doing this,” said Howard, receiving the award for rock performance on behalf of her bandmates standing behind her. “When we started this, we were in high school -- me and our bass player right here -- and we just did it for fun. We never thought we would get any awards or recognition like this. I tell you, my heart is beating a mile a minute right here.”

She then thanked members of the band’s team before adding, “It’s beautiful, and I promise that we’re going to keep going.”


In fact, they’re going hard. A thrilling live band -- as anyone who witnessed Monday’s performance of “Don’t Wanna Fight” can attest -- the Shakes will be continuing to tour in support of “Sound & Color” throughout 2016.

In March, they’ll tour South America before returning to the states for a late spring tour of the South and a series of summer festival dates. They’ll bring their show to the Greek Theatre on Aug. 9. That show isn’t yet sold out, but tickets are running short.

Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter and Instagram: @liledit


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