It was Brittany Howard's birthday on Oct. 2, when she and the rest of Alabama Shakes taped their second headlining performance at Austin City Limits. The group's second album, Sound & Color, had debuted at Number 1 earlier in the year, and would go on to earn the band several Grammy nominations, as well as end up on many "Best of 2015" lists (including NPR Music's). By all outward appearances, Howard already had everything she could have wished for when she was blowing out her 27 candles. Right?
Forget that. With this rendition of "Joe," a heady, organ-laden soul ballad that had previously only appeared as a bonus track on international issues of Sound & Color, Howard dismisses any notion we might have of her satisfaction, crowding it out with desperate, powerful desire. Sure, she sings, she's achieved a lot, but she still. Ain't got. What she wants. Thankfully, what she wants is a lover whose name happens to rhyme deliciously with a wailed "ohhhh." (And equally well, it turns out, with "whoa.")
The performance of "Joe" is a web-exclusive, but you can watch Alabama Shakes play "Don't Wanna Fight," "Future People" and several other favorites from Sound & Color as they kick off the 41st season of Austin City Limits this Saturday, Jan. 2, premiering at 9pm ET on PBS.