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In October, the Shakes gave a performance at the CMJ Festival in New York City that earned a glowing review from the New York Times. Jon Pareles described the band as "a thunderbolt dressed in bluejeans," with music that's "aching when it’s slow and growling and whooping when it’s fast." NPR named them one of the best bands of 2011, while MTV called them one of the top bands to look for in 2012.
Overwhelmed by the response they've already received, there is one perception of the band that they want to challenge. "A lot of people think we're a soul revival act," says Cockrell. "That's an honor to me, classic R&B is my favorite kind of music, but everybody has their own influences. Brittany is way more into rock and roll—she likes things pretty amped up most of the time."
The release of Boys & Girls marks the arrival of a major new rock and roll band. To the members themselves, though, what's been most exciting has been the reaction they have felt on stage, whether tiny local dates or under the glare of the media.
There arenʼt too many artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969, back when R&B was first beginning to give the drummer some. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist—or maybe heʼs better labeled a phenomenon. Since the late sixties, the North Carolina native has amassed a prolific catalog of albums and has toured and played with such legends as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip- Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet- tender voice, itʼs mind-blowing that the music heʼs making today with Brooklynʼs own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career. Lee's new Album, Faithful Man (out March 13, 2012), is the latest testament to how his music and voice continue to amaze and inspire listeners around the world.
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