Thursday, June 19, 2014

Documentary Review: Muscle Shoals

Image: Wikipedia
An acquaintance recommended that I check out the documentary Muscle Shoals. I finally got around to that this weekend while doing some photo work from recent adventures.

The movie is about Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the two recording studios there that created many a familiar sound. Those studios were FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

The film is an amazing story of this town and the sounds that came out of it. I was blown away by the number of musicians that have recorded here. As well, the number of songs and albums created at these studios was staggering.

If you have listened to classic rock, R&B, or southern rock, then chances are those albums and songs were cut in these studios.

What is even more amazing is the number of R&B songs that were created here. I mean created. Not, brought in fully fleshed out by an R&B band, but built from the ground up with the FAME Studios backing band (which later split to form Muscle Shoals Sound Studio) who would be backing some of the biggest names in R&B singers.

They reiterate this throughout the film and it truly is mind blowing to find out that some of the soulest sounding R&B songs to come out had an all white backing band playing with the lead black R&B singer. They talk about how some musicians would walk in to record and wonder where the "Muscle Shoals" band was. They were even shocked to learn it was a bunch of white Alabama boys that were creating this sound.

This was a great documentary that anyone into music would enjoy. If you like The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Bono, Steve Winwood, The Allman Brothers Band, or Lynyrd Skynyrd; then you will want to watch this movie to learn some of the history of their great music.

It's well worth your music geek evening to watch this one.

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