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.