A few weeks ago I watched the documentary film, Muscle Shoals. I had a little knowledge of the recording industry that existed there before watching the film. Fame Studios has been referenced a few times when I’ve read about Atlantic Records and their catalog of recording artists. There were some passages about some extraordinary white dudes from down south who recorded rhythm’n’blues. These Muscle Shoals locals backed and recorded hundreds of legendary artists. Aretha. Otis. Percy. Wilson Pickett. Jimmy Cliff. Paul Simon. The Rolling Stones.
I also knew a little bit about Muscle Shoals because of David Hood. David Hood is father of Patterson Hood – founding member of the Drive-By Truckers. In recent years, I have become a more emphatic fan of that band, as well as one of their former members – Jason Isbell. (I’ll write much more about him in later posts.) So (as stated) I already knew a little bit about the subjects of this film. Still, I was not prepared for the fantastic stories that are captured in this documentary.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama has a rich musical history. It all starts with Fame Studios, Rick Hall, and The Swampers (who later founded Muscle Shoals Sound Studios). This film tells their story. It’s as much mystical realism as it is nonfiction. Please, watch this film.