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ALABAMA 3 ACOUSTIC & UNPLUGGED

Alabama 3 Acoustic and Unplugged is a four-piece outfit consisting of Larry Love (vocals), Aurora Dawn (vocals),  Harpo Strangelove (harmonica), and Rock Freebase (guitar).


ALABAMA 3 ACOUSTIC & UNPLUGGED

With this line up they bring a whole new dimension to the songs made famous by Alabama 3.  This isn’t acid house music, this is country/gospel/delta blues, but played with a rhythm you’ve still got to dance to.


LIVE ACOUSTIC FILM SHOT BACKSTAGE AT WICKERMAN FESTIVAL
JULY 2014



LARRY LOVE  photo:  Peter O'Hanlon

Aurora Dawn brings a powerful injection of soul to their sound – or, as it says on the cover of ‘Revolver Soul’ this is ‘soul music with a gun against your head’.


AURORA DAWN photo:  Peter O'Hanlon

“The ghost of Mississippi Fred McDowell haunting the fingers of Rock Freebase on guitar, Larry Love’s larynx looser than Howlin’ Wolf... and Harpo Strangelove’s harmonica cooking up a Sonny Terry vibe - welcome to the Delta Blues alive and kicking in 2008”

By performing in this stripped down acoustic way the band’s aim was to show the songs in a format reminiscent of the people that have been their inspiration, chiefly the old Delta Blues players like Fred MacDowell and Bukka White.

Rock Freebase:
“I've developed a style of guitar, that combines elements of both MacDowell and White, with a hint of banjo picking, and tried to give it a more modern, urban twist.”


ROCK FREEBASE photo:  Peter O'Hanlon


HARPO STRANGELOVE
photo: Andy Laing


Rock Freebase, Aurora Dawn, Larry Love, Harpo Strangelove  at Dolan's Bar,
Limerick, July 2012.
  (Read a review here)

February 2011 saw the release of the acoustic album 'There will be peace in the valley...when we get the keys to the mansion on the hill'
A new departure for Alabama 3, this is the 'Alabama 3 Acoustic and Unplugged' outfit, making their first foray into the recording studio, with new and original material.


WATCH ALABAMA 3 ACOUSTIC AND UNPLUGGED PERFORMING 'LOVE WILL TEAR US APART' LIVE IN APRIL 2011


 'Not since Robert Johnson dropped thirty eight tracks in one night in a Minnesota hotel room, in 1938 and defined the blueprint for  Delta Blues has the genre  been so radically ‘fucked’ with.  Alabama 3’s new album ‘There will be peace in the valley… when we get the keys to the mansion on the hill’ is back porch music for frontline people.'

READ LISTENERS' REVIEWS HERE


Review from Leicester's Donkey, July 2010:
As a frontman, Larry Love aka Rob Spragg knows exactly what he is doing and has a voice of a man that perhaps should have used nicotine patches. He was joined on vocals by Aurora Dawn who only recently joined the troop. Her voice blew us back and filled the venue ten times over. The contrast of Loves gristly off key groove and her soulful hoot worked perfectly and really gave the songs an air of something incredible. Love was clearly loving playing an intimate and was nearly climbing over the front row of the crowd, and although we were set back from the stage a bit due to the late arrival, it was impossible not to tell where he was in the room.
The tunes were tight and well rehearsed and played to a crowd full of passion and love, erupting when the likes of Woke Up This Morning and U Don’t Dans 2 Tekno were only a few notes in. The band played some classics and some that we hadn’t head before that we plan to hear again. The sound of this band is undeniably good and is unique to them, although some of the songs sound like one another it doesn’t really matter when your in a room with strangers smiling and singing “Whoooo whoooo, that’s the sound of the police”.


 

Review of Cambridge Folk Festival:

'While the full band has already conquered the main stage at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, this year the unplugged band headlined the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival to an amazing audience response. Gentle folk types were converted to the Alabama 3 unplugged with the same enthusiasm which the Glastonbury crowds have taken to the full band. Rock Freebase has consistently earned his position as a top Mississippi delta blues guitarist and, coupled with Larry’s poisonous vocals, Devlin Love’s sweet soul singing and Harpo Strangelove’s harmonica, it is no wonder they have been hailed as the best live band in the UK.'


Former line up featuring Devlin Love on vocals

'Blending techno, acid house and country, Alabama 3 has scored big across the Big Pond.
Their music has appeared in "The Sopranos" as the theme song and in the film "Gone in 60 Seconds."
They showed why at the concert.
With only a guitar, a harmonica and two voices, Alabama 3 captivated the audience with an intricate weave of harmonies, melodies and lyrics, which ranged from love and cheating to murder and social injustice.
Alabama 3 founder Larry Love's raspy, intense vocals were a perfect balance to the sweet yet fiery twang from Zoe Devlin.
Add in some flash roots guitar work from Mark Sams and harmonica from Nick Reynolds and you have some serious roots music taking hold.'

 

 

In March 2008 Alabama 3 Acoustic and Unplugged played by special invitation of the governor of Brixton Prison, for the charity ‘Jail Guitar Doors’.  The following is an extract from Duncan Campbell’s article that appeared in 'The Guardian' Saturday March 22, 2008:

'It was the only gig in town where you had to be on the guest list to get out rather than in. And while the chapel at HMP Brixton, south London, may not have quite the capacity of the Albert Hall or the cachet of Koko, this week it hosted one of those shows likely to be remembered by every one of its extremely select audience.

The Alabama 3 … took their eclectic music behind bars at the invitation of the prison's governor, Paul McDowell. The band are not from Alabama - they're local and there are more than three of them - but the reception from the 100 or so inmates could not have been warmer if they had been bearing personal pardons from the Queen.

From the opening bars of a specially adapted version of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues - "I'm stuck in Brixton prison!" - lead singer Larry Love, all dark glasses and bonhomie, established a rapport with those who might identify with the song's lines "I know I had it coming/I know I can't be free". The band, which included Rock Freebase on guitar, Harpo Strangelove on harmonica, and the Rev Errol T and the Rev B Atwell both on vocals - possibly not all real names - ran through a repertoire which included Rehab and U Don't Dans 2 Tekno Any More.

When the band's youngest and smallest member, Devlin Love, concluded with her interpretation of John Prine's haunting Speed and The Sound of Loneliness - final line "out there running just to be on the run" - inmates cheered.'


(The full article continues here: brixton_prison_blues)


To see an acoustic perfomance of 'Woke Up This Morning', recorded for ME TV during SXSW festival 2008, click here > 

For the latest gig details check out the site calendar.



REVIEW 

Alabama 3 Unplugged @Vibe Bar, London, November 30 2006
A good-time sing-a-long hoedown with country-blues act Alabama 3 Acoustic  & Unplugged.

After a song dedicated to the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay and another name-dropping Bessie Smith, lead vocalist Larry Love bellowed as he stood to down another cup of whiskey, “I’m tired of singing songs about women and guns and all that shit.” He was joined on wagon by Rock Freebase on slide guitar and Harpo Strangelove on the harmonica. But the gem of the evening was a mystery female vocalist whose genuinely classic country-western voice had that authentic, warm twang, and had the crowd cheering and whistling. On one tune, which included some blistering harp playing and stinging slide guitar, Love had the crowd involved in a bit of call and response with the lyrics, “Whoooo, that’s the sound of the police!” After a bit more drunk talk, “I don’t know how to drink responsibly,” Love capped the set by wishing the audience a “Merry fucking Christmas.”

For a band that doesn’t rehearse and picks up and leaves behind members as it rolls along, the Alabama 3 Acoustic was truly the perfect choice for a night of bourbon, barbeque, and fun. The mystery woman’s voice and the acoustic element brought out the true talent of this freaky Brixton country- western act, showing that while they may seem ridiculous at first, behind their leather jackets, cowboy hats, and sunglasses, they really do know how to play the country blues. In the end, I’m glad I decided to wear my cowboy boots.

by Lee Adams  



BOOKINGS

For information about booking Alabama 3 Acoustic and Unplugged, click here.