The Alabama Shakes was formed in the small town of Athens, Alabama, in 2009. Their first hit single was "Hold On," with lyrics by lead singer Brittany Howard, a big girl with what "Rolling Stone" in 2013 called a "gritty, supple punk-blues voice." Howard and her cohort of Athens outsiders recorded most of the songs on their first album, the bluesy "Boys & Girls," (2012) in Nashville on their own dime. In 2011, word about their musical precocity got to Patterson Hood, lead singer of the Drive-By Truckers, who went to one of their gigs and took up their cause. Their second album, "Sound and Color," (2015) won four Grammies.