Muscle Shoals

Muscle Shoals is great music documentary about the "special sound" that came out of the studio recordings of this small town in Alabama that includes names like Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Allman Brothers (among others). Interviews with the studio musicians, the engineers, and some of the more famous people involved on the bands listed above help tell the story of this great place to make music. I was particularly interested in the story of the session musicians from that town, named "The Swampers" that played behind the varied kinds of musicians that came to record over the years.

There have been several documentaries like this fairly recently, like Dave Grohl's Sound City (about a studio in Los Angeles with its own "special sound") or last years' Academy Award winning Best Documentary Feature 20 Feet From Stardom (about some of the most versatile female backup singers in popular music), that give an entertainingly great insight into the music making process. Even if you think you might not be a fan of the some of the music involved, the stories told are still compelling. I found a new interest in some of the musicians featured and learned about a few I sought out records by immediately after watching. Find some Music CDs in the library collection by the artists by clicking on "More information" next to the title information and scrolling down to the "Other Author" section.