April 24, 2012 8:00 AM

Before first album, Alabama Shakes shook rock world

In less than a year, Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes, her quartet from Athens, Ala., have become a success story so unlikely even the band’s manager calls it “an anomaly.” Maximum buzz preceded the Shakes’ debut album “Boys & Girls” with sold-out tours of the United States and Europe, fawning media coverage and an endless string of surprises.

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