Brittany Howard is one of the most powerful singers of her generation, a vocalist whose command of blues, soul and gospel tropes is staggering, and is matched only by her ability to force those tropes into new forms that rise above mere traditionalism.
With Alabama Shakes, Howard crafted soul-shaking modern garage-R&B and grabbed the public’s attention with the 2013 debut “Boys & Girls,” but it is with this year’s sophomore effort, “Sound & Color,” that the true breadth of Howard and the Shakes’ abilities is revealed.
“This record is full of genre-bending songs,” Howard says of “Sound & Color” in the official band bio. “It’s even harder now when people ask, ‘What kind of band are you?’ I have no clue.”
The common denominator in all that the Shakes do is Howard’s powerhouse singing, which can tackle the blues, spacey, psychedelic soul-rock and gospel-tinged garage noise with equal conviction and finesse.
A near-constant presence on the road has honed the band into one of the tightest and most ferocious out there. See and hear for yourself, as Alabama Shakes rings out the 2015 Artpark concert season with an 8 p.m. appearance on Tuesday. Tickets are priced at $45 reserved and $35 for general admission on the lawn. They’re available now through Tickets.com and at the Artpark box office.
– Jeff Miers