Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard announces debut solo album

New single and video for “Stay High” available now

Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard has unveiled “Stay High,” the soulful first single from her debut solo album, Jaime, and the accompanying video, which follows a father in the moments after his shift at a factory. Envisioning Terry Crews – who portrayed beloved TV dad Julius in Everybody Hates Chris and has gone on to star in such projects as The Expendables (and its sequels), Deadpool 2, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and America’s Got Talent – in the lead role, Howard wrote him a letter to ask if he would consider starring in the video, and he graciously accepted her offer.

She teamed up with director Kim Gehrig to shoot “Stay High.” Gehrig’s music videos for Wiley & Mark Ronson’s “Cash in my Pocket” and Chaka Khan’s “Like Sugar” won top honors at the UK VMAs. Her numerous awards include the first Glass Lion as well as multiple Gold Lions at Cannes. Howard dedicated the “Stay High” video to her father, K.J. Howard, who makes a cameo appearance. Marking her first-ever appearance in a music video, Brittany can also be spotted in the clip.

“This video is shot in my home town of Athens, Alabama. The actors are my family and friends,” says Howard. “Terry Crews plays a man who isn’t out to change the world, he plays a man who just wants to come home to those who understand and love him best. We see his inner beauty, grace and humanity in a place that is so often misunderstood.”

“I got an email from the Brittany Howard, asking me to be a part of a song she wrote that was all about her dad and how special he was to the family. And she poured her heart out in this letter. I couldn’t believe it,” Crews recalls. “Brittany was like, ‘we can shoot it in L.A.,’ and I said, ‘No, I’m coming to you, we’re going to Alabama. We’re going to where you grew up, to where your family is.”

Tickets are on sale now for Howard’s fall North American tour, which includes two night stands at intimate venues in Asheville, NC, Washington, DC and Los Angeles. The headline run will also include shows at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (August 19th) and New York City’s Beacon Theatre (September 24th). See below for full itinerary. Every online ticket purchased for the U.S. dates on the fall tour will include a CD of the new album, Jaime.

As the frontwoman and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Howard has become one of music’s most celebrated figures. The band has won four GRAMMY Awards and topped the Billboard 200 with the gold-certified Sound & Color, the follow-up to its platinum debut album, Boys & Girls. Jaime, set for September 20th release on ATO Records, is titled after Howard’s sister, who taught her to play the piano and write poetry, and who died of cancer when they were still teenagers. The project is available on CD and LP. Fans who pre-order the album in digital format will instantly receive “Stay High” and “History Repeats.”

Howard’s collaborators included engineer Shawn Everett and the core group of musicians she assembled to record Jaime: Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell, jazz-based keyboard player Robert Glasper and drummer Nate Smith. As the first project to come out under her own name, the album represents an enormous step both musically and personally.

“It’s my first time making decisions on my own, being the captain of the ship,” she says. “It brings up existential questions—why am I here, why do I do this? People think that touring in a band is super-fun, and it can be, but nothing about it is normal. You miss out on a lot of stuff, so I need to make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons.”

Brittany Howard Tour Dates:

8/17 | Asheville, NC | Orange Peel
8/18 | Asheville, NC | Orange Peel
8/19 | Nashville, TN | Ryman Auditorium
8/23 | Washington, DC | 9:30 Club
8/24 | Washington, DC | 9:30 Club
8/29 | London, UK | EartH Hackney
9/2 | Amsterdam, NL | Paradiso
9/4 | Paris, FR | Alhambra
9/18 | Milwaukee, WI | Riverside Theater
9/19 | St. Paul, MN | Palace Theatre
9/20 | Chicago, IL | Riviera Theatre
9/22 | Toronto, ON | Rebel
9/24 | New York, NY | Beacon Theatre
9/25 | Boston, MA | House of Blues
9/27 | Philadelphia, PA | The Fillmore
10/5 | Austin, TX | ACL Festival
10/8 | Los Angeles, CA | Theatre at Ace Hotel
10/9 | Los Angeles, CA | Theatre at Ace Hotel
10/12 | Austin, TX | ACL Festival
10/13 | Atlanta, GA | AfroPunk Festival
11/2 | Bilbao, ES | BIME Live

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.