Listen to Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes on Fresh Air - WXPN
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Alabama Shakes | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Singer / guitarist Brittany Howard and her band Alabama Shakes will be in town this Saturday night, playing the XPoNential Music Festival at the BB&T Pavilion. The Shakes are performing with Gary Clark, Jr. and Latin alternative band, Chicano Batman.

Earlier this year, Howard sat down with Fresh Air host Terry Gross for an interview during which Howard talked about how she got into playing music as a teenager, her earliest influences like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, growing up on her family’s junkyard, and the band’s recent album, Sound And Color, for which the band won several Grammy awards including Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Don’t Wanna Fight,” and Best Alternative Album.

On getting into music as a teenager, Howard says:

I remember when and where I was when I first heard Pink Floyd. I was 14 years old and I was getting a ride from school, from a senior, back to my house. And they started playing Pink Floyd and I was like, “What is this?” and they explained it to me, and I had never heard any music like that. It wasn’t one genre or another; it was just whatever they wanted to create, and I thought it was so interesting. And I started getting into music around that time, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath; I started getting into that kind of music, and I thought, “I been missing everything!” It was like having blinders on. I started really diving into the history of music when I was around 14 years old.

Gross’s interview with Howard is excellent revealing the story behind Howard’s teenage years, and how the death of her sister from retinal cancer led her down the path to music.

The Alabama Shakes play the XPoNential Music Festival this Saturday night, July 23rd. Weekend passes and single day tickets are available here.

Below, listen to Howard’s interview on Fresh Air.

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