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The Muscle Shoals Documentary: A Tale of Two Studios, One Sound

Posted by Kells, October 17, 2013 03:50pm | Post a Comment
msucle shoals documentary movie poster

From Dave Grohl's Sound City to 20 Feet From Stardom there have been some really great music-related documentary films released recently, perhaps none so overwhelmingly transcendental as the story of a reliable hit-maker and an iconic sound rooted in a sleepy corner of Alabama called Muscle Shoals

Between providing the most literal rendering of "I'll Take You There" and dabbling in discovering the metaphysical origins of what has come to be lauded as the "Muscle Shoals sound," Muscle Shoals blends reflective interviews of those who lived and tracked the music, bolstered by snippets and loops of the iconic sound itself, with layers of pastoral vistas and rustic rural vignettes of the surrounding countryside, playing like a gorgeous cinematographic back-mask. Combined with the fleeting highs and the tragic lows experienced by musician, songwriter and Fame Studios producer Rick Hall, his session players, The Swampers (who would later found a similarly nondescript recording studio across town in a former casket factory), among others still living in the glory of the Muscle Shoals nexus, the film also depicts the triumph of a phenomenon bigger than anyone can fully understand nowadays: the earthly crossroads of soul, country, funk and rock and roll at a time when "separate but equal" was the order of the day. 

Free Tickets to Muscle Shoals Documentary

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 10, 2013 05:02pm | Post a Comment

muscle shoals documentary

Amoeba customers can see MUSCLE SHOALS Friday through Sunday, October 11 - 13 at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley or Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco for free, while ticket supplies last. Visit the following link and use the group code Amoeba to request your tickets HERE!

Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America's most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama's cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the "Muscle Shoals sound" and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Gregg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals' magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.