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Alabama Shakes, a soulful rock 'n' roll quartet, is riding a well-deserved wave to fame. Since the release of its self-titled debut in 2011, the band has entranced listeners with its diverse and energetic songs. Alabama Shakes' style is marked by lead singer Brittany Howard's powerful voice and the group's irresistible energy: Together, they enthusiastically blend rock with soul, country, blues and roots, earning critical and popular acclaim in the process.
The band's deft, gritty and joyous soul revival has attracted widespread praise — especially for Howard, whose vocals have been compared to those of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. On this episode of World Cafe, Alabama Shakes' members talk with David Dye about the Muscle Shoals scene. Hear Alabama Shakes perform live, including the title track of the band's upcoming CD, Boys and Girls.
This segment originally aired on January 26, 2012.
By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.