January 22 2020 by Harriet Kaplan Brittany Howard Hollywood, CA
Photos by Getty Images
Brittany Howard performed an explosive, emotionally-charged, complex and defiant set of material that mined blues, soul, psychedelia and R&B in Hollywood, CA last week. Howard, well known as the front artist of Alabama Shakes, released her debut album in 2019- “Jamie,” which is nominated for two GRAMMY awards this year for “Best Rock Song” and “Best Rock Performance” for “History Repeats.” “Jamie” is a ambitious project Howard released when Alabama Shakes, the popular and critically-acclaimed rock band, for which she was the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter took an indeterminate hiatus.
The revealing album is dedicated to a sister who died of retinoblastoma as a teenager. The highly-personal nature of “Jamie” finds Howard grappling with issues from her past including sexuality, family tragedy, religious guilt and more.
Supported by her strong nine-piece band and two backup singers, the exciting and stirring show was one of four shows sponsored by the Citi Sound Vault series at The Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, CA. The show, held on Wednesday, January 22nd, was exclusive to Citi credit and debit cardholders.
Howard and the talented band shared an undeniably strong chemistry and connection bringing a 60s soul styled revue to the stage and laying out the funk hard. Wearing a long gold robe over dark clothing, Howard stormed the stage coming out pumping her fist in the air and completely dominated with her strong and assured presence. Her singing has a very raw and real, authentic feeling to it giving off Aretha Franklin vibes. She is also renowned for being a guitarist with a distinctive sound performing on both acoustic and electric instruments.
The set was full of wonderful and memorable highlights from “Jamie” and solid covers including “He Loves Me,” “Georgia,” “Stay High,” “13th Century Metal,” “Goat Head,” “Short and Sweet,” “History Repeats,” Prince’s “The Breakdown,” and the exhilarating show-stopping cover Howard took to a whole new level: Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” that was transcendent and electrifying.
Brittany Howard has the gift of transforming her pain, grief and life experience and exercising her demons on stage. She created inspired musical moments reflecting the dark and light that are both cathartic and celebratory and is triumphing and emerging as an empowered human being and on the road to healing and self actualization.
He Loves Me
The Breakdown (Prince cover)
Short and Sweet
You’re What I’m All About
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (Jackie Wilson cover)
13th Century Metal
Revolution (Beatles cover)
Run To Me
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