World Cafe

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

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24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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The Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls - ATO

We first met the Alabama Shakes this fall when the young band from Athens, Alabama released their first EP. Four songs rarely ignite a career as much as they’ve done for the Alabama Shakes. Fresh out of high school, the soulful rockers have been aggressively touring, impressing show-goers and gearing up for the release of their debut, full length album, Boys & Girls, due out this month on ATO Records. Led by dynamic frontwoman Brittany Howard, the Shakes deliver on their potential with Boys & Girls for one of the year’s most exciting debuts.

Boys & Girls is a continuation of what we first heard on the Alabama Shakes EP. In fact, all four songs make their way onto the new album. And so does that passion and power in the voice of Brittany Howard that has already become a trademark of the band. Where the band has gained its fair share of attention due to their live performance (anyone who has seen the band will testify to that!), Howard doesn’t hold back in the studio. We know that from songs like “Hold On” and “I Found You”. And we hear it again on album standouts like “Hang Loose” which is propelled by Howard and a slick, stylish baseline by Zac Cockrell. Heath Fogg on guitar and Steve Johnson behind the drums round out the Shakes completing a perfect blend of blues, rock, roots and soul.

Pure talent may set the Shakes apart from lots of up-and-comers, but so does their poise. As you listen to Boys & Girls, you’ll hear a confidence that’s extremely rare, especially for a group not too far removed from the corridors of high school.

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