are an English band mixing rock, dance, blues, country, gospel, and spoken word styles, founded in Brixton, London in 1995. In the United States, the band are known as A3
, allegedly to avoid any possible legal conflict with the country music band Alabama. The group achieved international fame when the producers of hit TV series The Sopranos
chose the track "Woke Up This Morning" for the show's opening credits.The band are particularly notable for their fusion of styles, lyrics full of ironic intent, their deliberately humorous personas and their outrageous live performances. Every member of the group has an alias by which he is known, the band's founding members adopting the personas Larry Love (Rob Spragg) and The Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love (Jake Black).
The band formed when Jake Black met Rob Spragg at an acid house party in Peckham and they decided that a fusion of country music with acid house was a musical possibility. Other members of the band were accumulated over a lengthy period, but it is known that Rob Spragg was at university with Piers Marsh, the harmonica player and synth programmer for the band whilst Orlando Harrison, the group's current keyboardist, used to live with Jake Black. Prior to the formation of the Alabama 3, Jake had gone through his "wilderness years" period of which there is little or no recorded output. This creative gulch lasted years following the demise of The Jangletties.Starting their act under the alias the First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine (UK), the group eventually switched names to Alabama 3 and, after having been dismissed by the mainstream media as a novelty act, the group finally signed with One Little Indian Records in 1997 for the release of debut album, Exile on Coldharbour Lane
.In August 2007, the group toured under the name of Alabama 3: Acoustic and Unplugged, with Harpo Strangelove and Devlin Love, to promote their new album M.O.R.
(released 10 September 2007). Bassist John "Segs" Jennings apparently left the band, saying he was "busy elsewhere and [he doesn't\] have the time." The band's sixth studio album album M.O.R included a cover of Jerry Reed's 1970s hit "Amos Moses" and features The Proclaimers on the track "Sweet Joy" plus piano parts on the country stomp version of the Gil Scott Heron song "The Klan", written by Heron and Brian Jackson. In September and October 2007, the band toured the UK in support of M.O.R.
with Irish band Republic Of Loose supporting.On Friday 29 February 2008, Larry Love, Devlin Love and Mark Sams did an encore with Carbon/Silicon at the seventh and final Carbon Casino gig at the Inn on the Green, under the Westway. Mick Jones joined the group on-stage to add guitar and backing vocals to a version of "Woke Up This Morning."Having recorded and toured with the band in the early days, Aurora Dawn rejoined the band in 2009, and sometime between late 2010 and early 2011, programmer, harmonicist, and founding member Piers "Mountain of Love" Marsh left the band. Although no reason has yet been publicly given, his departure appears to be amicable, as he is still an active contributor to the band's Facebook page. He and other Alabama 3 founder member, Sir Eddie Real, are now performing new material under the name of "Mountain of Love" with vocals from various guest vocalists.