Heavy Chevy–Alabama Shakes
Lyrics by Alabama Shakes (Brittany Howard, Heath Fogg, Steve Johnson & Zac Cockrell) Released 2011; didn’t chart.

Must. Hear. Live. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZSotzuaN60

This song was released in 2011 and 2012, as the group’s first single, but it failed to chart anywhere. I’ve only heard it live; never once on the radio. The first time was at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2013. Then that September, I heard it again at a Gentlemen of the Road festival in Guthrie, Oklahoma. I sought out the download and purchased it, and today it’s still in regular rotation on my playlists. Here, courtesy of the BBC, is the intro and first lines of the song as I first heard and saw it at Glastonbury. I wish I could share the whole song from Glasto. I was hooked on the song from the first lines.


Alabama Shakes say they were influenced by the Muscle Shoals sound, Aretha Franklin, and several 1960s and 70s rock icons. Yep, I definitely hear it. But in this song what’s even more prominent to my ears, is every artist that passed through Sun Records in the 1950s, come back to life, in these young musicians on stage, as the lyrics tell a more contemporary story.

“…. He said, “Now, lemme take ya out Buy you new appliances I wanna take ya out Better home and sciences I wanna take ya out I wanna meet ya kids I wanna take you home, baby Tell me where it is I come back when I want and Don’t you ask no questions Me and you, forever, baby You and me together baby …”

The energy in the song hits you from the first note. The song drives the musicians. As it transitions between verse, chorus, bridge, and so on, it never lets up. It keeps soaring. No gaps, no breaks, no let up in the intensity.  

How is this song not a hit? I don’t know. I still think it will be someday. A movie or TV producer will ‘discover’ it, and include it in their production, and that generation of viewers will then ‘discover’ the song, and it will be big. That’s my prediction.

  Alabama Shakes formed in 2009, put out two studio albums, won 4 Grammys, and went on hiatus in 2019. Lead singer Brittany Howard and other band members have focused on solo projects since that time. 


  1. I’m going to make the first comment on my own song, because I mistakenly left out one of the main legacy influences I hear, and that’s Little Richard. Hope you enjoy the song!

  2. It’s non-stop high energy for sure. I hear Little Richard in there also. It’s a revival of great music that is so much better than what is being heard on the radio these days. The name of the group sounds familiar and not sure from where. Maybe NPR or pandora radio? Good choice, Diana, and so cool you saw them live!

  3. Nice to see a song by Alabama Shakes. Sadly, I’d never heard of them until 2015, when I was blown away by their explosive hit “Don’t Wanna Fight”. Brittany Howard is a wonderful guitarist and songwriter, with an amazing powerhouse voice.

  4. Just a wee bit too ’50s throwback for me, but not a bad rocker. Brittany has a fantastic voice. I like the few songs I have heard from them on radio (and one or two brief TV appearances I’ve seen them do.) I do like that they are one of the rare kind of roots rock acts that have become popular in last decade. I know they’re on hiatus but hope they will record more in the future.

    • I’ll take all of this 50s throwback and then some. 🙂 It’s amazing the range and variety of tastes we all have. I too hope they get the gang back together in the future and make some more music.

  5. Feeling the old school roots on this. It cooks like all the old stuff did. Amazing and very cool that this music still lives. Most of the artists I dig cut their teeth on this stuff. It’s rock n roll.

  6. Awesome! I went through a phase of listening to them a few years ago and I’ve always liked what I heard. Time to dive back in. I like them a lot because if they would have come out in the 60s or 70s they would have fit right in…they have a classic sound but they also keep it modern.
    Her voice is great on this… the energy she creates is outstanding.

    • Thanks, and wow… it’s great you are familiar with them. I actually thought more people in the draft group would be. But this is what’s fun about the draft. So, were you familiar with this song in particular, or were you listening to other material of theirs? It’s so strange to me that this song was basically their first single released, and they were and are a popular group, but this song is virtually unknown. I think the song is so easy to like and remember.

    • No not this song. This one is new to me. Bailey and I were listening to them years back. I loved her voice and their sound. The song that made me notice them was “Hold On.”
      When I heard that I thought…wow is this old or new? I love the authentic sound they have.


  7. Like Max I first heard them through Hold On and was blown away – Brittany Howard definitely has a presence about her – that clip from Glastonbury was great!

  8. First time hearing this group. I’m impressed. Lots of energy. I hear the influence of early rockers, yet also some of the 60’s rockers. There is a blues vibe to this too. Thanks for sharing this! I will have to check out more of their stuff.

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