Alabama Shakes is an American rock band formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009. The group consists of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, keyboard player Ben Tanner, and drummer Steve Johnson. The group received three nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance for "Hold On", and Best Recording Package for their debut album, Boys & Girls.
The band originated when lead singer-guitarist Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell, both then attending East Limestone High School near Athens in Limestone County, Alabama, began meeting after school to write songs. The two played progressive rock and other genres, but soon found a calling playing roots rock. They approached drummer Steve Johnson, who was working at a local music store, asking him to join the band and soon the trio went to Clearwave Recording Studio with producer Jeremy Stephens in Decatur, Alabama, to record some of the songs they were writing. Guitarist Heath Fogg joined the band after hearing the demo.