Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Alabama Music Scene In England

The Alabama Music Scene In England
by Calvin Bass

Sharing between cultures is not something new. All through history we have shared new ways to travel, new ways to cook, and one of the most import things we share is music.
Regardless of your musical tastes, there is no denying that every culture injects its own unique take on that musical genre.
There are times when this musical sharing can be a great success. An example of this would be the way the world fell in love with Elvis, and in return England produced The Beatles.
It isn’t even just about the types of music that we share but also the cultures that follow them. The way people are influenced by the music plays a pivotal role in how long it will last within a given place.
The music of Alabama, both past and present can be felt on both sides of the Atlantic. It has influenced countless blues and country bands. You can hear it in your favourite songs and in folk music the world over.
In England the music from the southern state can be heard in many new bands, some of which may not even know that they are being influenced from America’s Deep South.
It isn’t always obvious when music is being influenced from another place. The Alabama music scene isn’t just a scene in the traditional sense of being able to tell who likes the type of music by the way that they dress. Nor is it the kind of scene you could easily recognize just by sound alone, although with certain artists there is no mistaking where their influence in musical genre came from.
You can’t walk down a street in England and tell by looking at someone which musical style influences them the most. In England, probably more than anywhere, there is a mass of cultures all merging together, and in terms of music the genres are being blurred.
The one sure way to tell when someone is either listening to or being influenced by the music coming from Alabama is to actually listen to their music. It’s in the drum beats. It’s in the strumming of the guitars and in the voice of the singers.
Everything from rock n roll to blues has a subtle hint of Alabama in it. Even England’s own country singers borrow from their Alabama counter-parts in both the way they sing their songs and the way they play their guitars.
Keep in mind, the music which has come from Alabama isn’t just about country, blues and rock music. It influences classic music all around the world and in England.
The next time you are out and about in England, or anywhere else for that matter, keep your ears peeled and you won’t have to listen too hard to hear the sound of Alabama filling the air.
Music from the southern state will keep influencing England and the rest of the world for countless years to come. Long live the music.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MSMA Newsletter

Welcome to the MSMA Newsletter!

By Jimmy Nutt

Will Muscle Shoals ever be the "Hit Recording Capital of the World" again?  Will there ever be another "Swampers" rhythm section?  Will there ever be another Jerry Wexler to bring artists to the Shoals to record?  Who will win this long, painful Presidential Election and will we ever have a better-supported live music scene??

I don't know!

What I DO know is that there is a lot to be proud of in the Shoals.  There is absolutely no denying that there is a resurgence in our local music scene.

Please take the time to check out some of our local artists.  Go to Pegasus Records and buy their CDs (or vinyl).  Check out their websites, Facebooks, Twitters and such.  Go to their shows.  Buy their T-shirts.  Tell your friends.  Repeat.

Most of you know by now that some of our artists were featured in the September issue of Relix magazine (it's kind of a big deal!).  Writer Cherokee Lair does a great job honoring the past, present and future of the Shoals music scene.  Her article really brings in to focus how much there really is happening here.

We hope you enjoy the October issue of the Muscle Shoals Music Association Newsletter!

Photo of Relix Magazine 

Shoal's Artists Featured In Relix Magazine!

"During the ‘60s and ‘70s, Muscle Shoals, Ala., was a musically fertile area where artists ranging from The Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan visited and recorded. Then, the Muscle Shoals hits started to dry up. But, in recent years, the magic has returned and The Shoals is once again a musical mecca." Cherokee Lair traces the area’s rich musical history and zooms in on Muscle Shoals’ current crop of buzz bands. While stylistically diverse, bands like The Pine Hill Haints, The Local Saints, Fiddleworms and Nightmare Boyzzz are all leading the charge behind Muscle Shoals’ renaissance.

6 Degrees of the Shoals Productions hosted several "Meet and Greet" gatherings around town with the artists that were featured in the article which culminated at the "Relix Wrap Party" held at the Marriott Shoals.  The events were attended by some of our local music legends as well as many "newcomers" to the Shoal's Music Scene.

For more information about these events, go to 6 Degrees of the Shoals Facebook page.

It is not too late to get your copy of RELIX with a feature article on "The New Sound of Muscle Shoals".   You can find them at:
Rivertown Coffee - Florence AL
Pegasus Records - Florence AL
Coldwater Books - Tuscumbia AL
Marriott Shoals - Gift Shop or at the Front Desk
Vertical Records - Huntsville, AL

Photo of David and Judy Hood

First Singing River Sculpture Unveiled
in Sheffield

By Judy Hood

The first in a series of Singing River Sculptures was unveiled in Sheffield on Sunday, September 23. The 18-foot-tall aluminum monument depicts a svelte guitar-wielding musician crooning into a microphone. The super-sized rocker gleams proudly on Montgomery Avenue, a fitting location just up the hill from the former home of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and within walking distance of the state-of-the-art NuttHouse Recording Studio where up-and-coming Shoals musicians are making their mark on the world. “When A Man Loves A Woman” was cut less than a mile down the road at 104 East Second Street and a young upstart named Elvis Presley once broke in a pair of blue suede shoes a stone’s throw away at the Sheffield Community Center.

The sculpture was created by celebrated local artist Audwin McGee. “I’d like to say thanks to the many talented musicians in this area for all that you have done over the years,” said McGee. “I’m glad I was able to do something for you.”

Fundraising efforts for the Singing River Sculptures were spearheaded by Bill Matthews and David Anderson. Wise Metals donated the aluminum for the project.

David's Diary 

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section Bassist David Hood has kept all of his work diaries from the mid-sixties to the present. Because they contain information that spotlights the rich history of Muscle Shoals Music, he will share one segment of his diary in this column each month.

By David Hood

Eddie Hinton is well known as a creative guitar player, having played definitive licks on records by Percy Sledge, R.B. Greaves, Aretha Franklin and the Staple Singers. He is also lauded as a great writer and penned songs for Sledge, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Womack and many others – including some very funky gems for himself. Thirty-five years ago this month, Eddie began recording tracks at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios for his now-classic solo album, “Very Extremely Dangerous.”

The album was produced by Barry Beckett, who also contributed piano, organ and Moog synthesizer. It featured Eddie on vocals, guitar and piano, and he was supported by Roger Hawkins on drums, Jimmy Johnson on guitar and David Hood on bass. The horn section included Harrison Calloway on trumpet, Harvey Thompson on tenor sax, Ronnie Eades on baritone sax and Dennis Good on trombone. The album was engineered by Steve Melton and Greg Hamm. It was released by Capricorn Records and almost instantly became a favorite on tour buses of bands traveling all over the country.

Unfortunately, through a recurring streak of hard luck that seemed to plague Hinton throughout his career, Capricorn Records went out of business before the album could reach its full potential. “Very Extremely Dangerous” is a true classic and an example of one of Muscle Shoals’ greatest talents who left this world way too soon. 

Sam Phillips Music Celebration 2012

Photo of the Atlanta Rhythm Section by Dick Cooper

By Terry Pace
The 2012 Sam Phillips Music Celebration honored the life and lasting legacy of one of the Muscle Shoals area’s most influential native sons – the world-famous “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll,” Florence native Sam Phillips (1923-2003).

In spite of an extreme turn in the weekend weather (from pleasantly warm and clear to unseasonably cold and wet), hundreds of hardcore music fans braved the unpredictable conditions just after sunset the evening of Saturday, Oct. 6, for the annual all-star outdoor concert presented by the Phillips family and the family-owned, Florence-based Big River Broadcasting Co.

This year’s full-force musical lineup included former Muscle Shoals recording artists Wet Willie (when showers intensified shortly before midnight, lead singer Jimmy Hall was literally “smilin’ in the rain” as the group closed the show with a rousing rendition of their uplifting anthem, “Keep on Smilin’ ”), award-winning Muscle Shoals singer-songwriter Mac McAnally (joined by several fellow members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band as well as Muscle Shoals studios alumnus Steve Nathan), the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Second Creek.

Together these eclectic performers filled the streets of downtown Florence with a warm, gritty, high-energy blend of rock, rhythm-and-blues and country soul that reflected Phillips’ maverick musical spirit.

“I don’t like categories of music,” the Sun Records founder always insisted. “I don’t care if it’s country, gospel, pop, rock, blues, jazz or polka – I like good music.”

The celebration took place less than two weeks before the announcement in Memphis (where Phillips founded his legendary Memphis Recording Service studio and the equally influential Sun label in the early 1950s) that he and one of his musical idols – fellow Florence native W.C. Handy, the equally revered “Father of the Blues” – are among twenty-five charter inductees into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
The class also includes four of Phillips’ most famous discoveries – “The King of Rock ’n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley (who performed three legendary shows at the Sheffield Community Center in 1955) and “The King of the Blues,” B.B. King, plus “The Killer,” Jerry Lee Lewis (whose band is led by Shoals native Ken Lovelace), blues pioneer Howlin’ Wolf and soul dynamo Rufus Thomas – as well as former Muscle Shoals recording artists Bobby “Blue” Bland, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers and Jim Dickinson (who played piano on the Rolling Stones’ Muscle Shoals Sound recording “Wild Horses”), Stax Studios singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes (who frequently traveled to the Shoals to pitch songs in the 1960s), singer and evangelist Al Green (who recorded for Hi, a Memphis label co-founded by former Shoals musicians Quentin Claunch and Bill Cantrell), producer and later Hi owner Willie Mitchell, the Stax rhythm section Booker T. and the MGs (whose musicians occasionally played on sessions in the Shoals), Z.Z. Top, Stax founders Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, disc jockey Dewey Phillips, Memphis Minnie, Nat D. Williams, Lucie Campbell, Jimmie Lunceford, Professor W.T. McDaniel, George Coleman and the rap group Three 6 Mafia.
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony – which crisscrosses the musical heritage of the Memphis-based Sun, Stax, Hi and American studios – will take place on Nov. 29. The announcement of the first class of inductees was made Tuesday, Oct. 16, by the Memphis Rock and Soul Museum.

MSMA 2012 Board
of Directors

Jimmy Nutt - President  
Rodney Hall - Vice President
Larry Bowser - Secretary/Treasurer  
David Hood - Past President

Wiley Barnard
Dick Cooper  
Nick Martin
Suzanne Bolton  
Terry Pace

Photo of Dan Penn "The FAME Recordings" 

Big Deal

Dan Penn FAME Recordings release date November 6th

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Civil Wars & Alabama Shakes win big at the Americana Music Awards

The Civil Wars and Mac McAnally up for CMA’s

Date set for Alabama Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
March 21st, 2013 in Birmingham at the BJCC Concert Hall
Photo of The Blind Boys with Jason Isbell, Chad Gamble, Jimbo Hart and Jimmy Nutt  

In The Studio 

Cheyenne Smith
Rachel Belew
Charlton James
Blind Boys of Alabama
Civil Wars
George Gee
Michael Richardson
Steven Padilla

@G-Legacy Recording Studio and Productions
Rod Runnit (AKA Mr. G-Legacy)

Kevin Richardson
Emily Reeves
Kristin Hemphill

@The NuttHouse
Donna Jean Godchaux
Amanda Emerson (Gary Nichols production)
Taylor Hoch (Jerry & Jan Masters production)
Will Pearson
Mike Pyle
Steve Hopper

@Studio 144 - Jay Burgess/John Springer
Jon Davis
The Pollies

If you would like to be included in this column, submit your information to mailto:themsma@gmail.com before the 7th of each month.
Photo of Don Ray Band

Trail of Tears Concert:
Don Ray Band

Don Ray Band makes a stop in the Shoals, where they recorded their current album, "Full Throttle", at The NuttHouse studio in Sheffield.

Don Ray, Jonathan Armstrong and Jeff Offutt, along with Shoals musicians Will McFarlane, Billy Smart and Justin Holder, performed September 15th at the Grand Opening of the Natchez Trace Harley Davidson dealership in Tuscumbia. The band performed songs from their new album for a large crowd, many of which not only attended to support the Grand Opening but also participated in the Trail Of Tears motorcycle ride.

Don Ray said of the concert, "It was fantastic to return to the Shoals." The Harley dealership is a grand one." He continued, "I met so many musically talented people while we were here last October recording, and it was great to see many of them again, including Mike Pyle, who sang backgrounds on our record, and Jimmy Nutt, who engineered and mixed for us." Don concluded, "I met some new friends this trip too. I love the Shoals."

Patterson Hood & Booker T at the Americana Music Awards
The Civil Wars recording at FAME
Mac McAnally at the Sam Phillips Music Celebration 2012
The Blind Boys of Alabama hanging out at FAME

The Fiddleworms Host Listening Party For New Album "See The Light"

Monday, October 29th at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, The Fiddleworms will present their new album "See The Light" along with a video created by Corey Hannah.

We invite you to hear the album the way it was intended, from start to finish!  "See The Light" is the latest album from long-time Shoals based band, The Fiddleworms and features many Shoals musicians/singers including; Donnie Fritts, Scott Boyer, Scooter Muse, Donna Jean Godchaux, Angela Hacker, the UNA Marching Band and many more!!

This is a FREE Event
Please RSVP to make sure we have a seat for you
256-757-8122 or russellworm@gmail.com
6pm- Cocktails
7pm- DVD Presentation of See the Light
8-10pm- Cocktails

This Event is made possible by our Sponsors:
Ramona's New Attitudes
Big River Broadcasting
Ray Miller Buick
Shoals Marriott
City Hardware
Neese Real Estate

Thanks for Diggin' Worms!

Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa
800 Cox Creek Parkway South, Florence, Alabama 35630


Membership is $10 for one year.
Donations are accepted.
Simply click the link below to pay through PayPal.
Donate through PayPal
Send check or Money Order to:
PO Box 2383
Muscle Shoals, Al 35662

***Please include your name, address and email.

Mission Statement

To preserve and promote the legacy and future of Muscle Shoals music.

Contact us at: