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Alabama Shakes began with high school friends Brittany Howard and Zac Cockrell after bonding over bands they liked during psychology class. The two started learning songs together before adding drummer Steve Johnson and guitarist Heath Fogg. The band started recording demos at Howard’s house before travelling to Nashville to start working on an album in 2011. While in Nashville, Alabama Shakes performed at The Groove, a local record store, and instantly impressed the small crowd gathered in the store. A music blogger heard about the show and posted one of their songs on the Aquarium Drunkard blog. Overnight, managers, publishing companies, and record labels were emailing Howard inquiring about the band. They started opening for Drive By Truckers on tour and earning positive reviews left and right, including a rave review of their performance at CMJ Festival by the New York Times. Before their full-length debut, Boys and Girls, was released in 2012, Alabama Shakes performed at Third Man Records as part of the Soundland Festival and recorded a live 7” including “Be Mine” and “You Ain’t Alone.”