March 12 2013
Today's film pick is about a place and a legendary studio located a little over three hours north of my parents' birthplace of Montgomery, Alabama. The name of that place and film is called Muscle Shoals.
First time filmmaker Freddy Camalier tells the story of the small town of Muscle Shoals that became a hot bed of musical genuis and creativity. During the time of racial unrest, the film shows the coming together of white and black to create some of the world's best music, which gave birth to the "Muscle Shoals Sound."
"At the heart of the story is Rick Hall; overcoming crushing hardship, he managed to entice talent like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett to come to Muscle Shoals and record what became their hit albums, backed up by the funkiest white men ever - the homegrown house band, The Swampers. As the word spread about the electrifying musical chemistry in this unexpected place, the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Staple Singers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Simon and Garfunkel magnetically followed suit. Interviewing an incredible roster of musicians, director Greg Camalier unearths a rich history of this unheralded gold mine of American music."
Muscle Shoals features interviews and live peformances from artists such as Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Bono, Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Cliff and others.
Plus, the Muscle Shoals sessions players, The Swampers, will be performing at SXSW on Thursday, March 14.
"The legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section aka The Swampers was immortalized in those lines from "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their recording sessions will live on forever in more than 100 hits by The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Bob Seger, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers, Elton John, Julian Lennon and more."