How Alabama Shakes Singer Brittany Howard Lives Her Best Life
Dressing up with my older sister. I'd be the cowgirl and she'd be the Indian, and we'd play I don't even know what on this rickety scaffold outside our house—which, when I think about it, was probably pretty dangerous—for hours until it got dark. Some of the happiest times of my life.
For my band's debut tour in 2011, we road-tripped across the country in a 15-passenger van. It was the first time I'd left Alabama. I drove through scenery I'd only ever seen in calendars: auburn leaves falling in Vermont, the sun setting over purple mountains in Arizona. It was incredible.
Best Guilty Pleasure
I freakin' love buying household appliances. I recently got a Roomba vacuum—the greatest gift I've ever given myself, and my hardwood floors. When I go to Walmart for groceries, I have to stop myself from wandering to the blenders. Pitiful.
Best Southern Dish
Crackling cornbread. It's one of the few things I know how to cook. My nana gave me the recipe: pork rinds baked inside cornbread. It's got a delicious meaty flavor and chewy texture.
Once right before a show, I realized I'd forgotten shoes. I didn't want to wear my flip-flops onstage because I could trip. I ended up going barefoot, which actually worked out because it became my "thing." Afterward people were saying, "You've got to see this girl who plays the guitar and sings with no shoes on!"
Best Recent Read
The biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Shout, Sister, Shout! She was a fierce singer and guitar player. Even though she sang gospel in church, she was a party animal and rumored to be bisexual—and this was in the 1940s! It was fascinating to read about a fearless woman who was so far ahead of her time.