Build a fire, light a match & watch the whole thing burn....

Alabama 3 aren't a trio and they aren't from Alabama. The band formed in Brixton, London in 1995 when vocalists Larry Love (Rob Spragg) and Dr. D. Wayne Love (Jake Black) decided to create a band around a fusion of country music and acid house. As A3, as they are known in the US, (to avoid a lawsuit from the band Alabama) grew in number they exploited rock, blues, country, gospel, spoken word, parody and satire. Although A3 seemed like an overnight success when their track Woke Up This Morning (inspired by the case of Sara Thornton, who murdered her husband after years of abuse) became the theme song of The Sopranos, success was had been a long time coming for the band's founders, then in their forties. A3 garnered some airplay in Australia with You Don't Dance To Techno Anymore (later released as an acoustic version in the first 10,000 copies of the album Power in the Blood) but remain largely unknown here. 

While Woke Up This Morning is A3's best known track I think it is far from their best. This song, Too Sick To Prey, (from the album La Peste) was used in the BBC series Being Human.

As was one of my favorites, Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlife.

Alabama 3 have produced so many songs that are so fun, so engaging, so witty and so inciteful, I had a hard time deciding what to share with you. Ironically, were they actually American, they wouldn't have the vice-like grasp on irony and satire that these London lads and ladies do. A3 (also a paper size) are magnificent, mischievous and unmissable live. Here they are backstage at The Wicker Man Festival in Scotland, 2014:

I recommend you start with Exile on Coldharbour Lane and La Peste. Power in the Blood will appeal to fewer comrades but is still worth the price of admission. There is a lot more to Alabama 3. They describe themselves as "a pop band, a punk rock, blues and country techno situationist crypto-Marxist-Leninist electro band".They go on: "We spent half of our advance from Geffen on various contraband items and with the rest we made an over-produced, brilliant situationist masterpiece called Exile on Coldharbour Lane"

I will leave you with a favorite and a rarity; an acoustic version of Mansion on the Hill from Acoustic Power.

William Crampton