Ranking right up there alongside places like Sun Studios, Graceland and Hitsville, USA, as some of the music world’s holiest and most legendary places, is Muscle Shoals. It might not be as well known as those others, but the studio played an important, influential and crucial part in shaping the American soul and rock ‘n roll musical landscape, and now the story is getting a much deserved, big screen telling.
Directed by Greg Camalier, “Muscle Shoals” zeroes on two key factors that made the studio the hitmaking machine it became: Rick Hall and The Swampers. The former was a producer extraordinaire, while the latter was the studio backing band that equally stood tall next to more famous folks like The Funk Brothers, Booker T. & The M.G.s, The Wrecking Crew, and MFSB, providing the sound and flavor that powered hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, and so much more. It’s a fascinating tale, rooted in some of the thickest, choicest songs the soul, r ‘n b and rock ‘n roll world ever produced. And lending weight to the testimony in the doc are folks like Bono, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, Clarence Carter, Duane Allman, Alicia Keys, and more, many of whom have their names etched into this exclusive poster.
Catching it last month, we called it “a compelling and effortlessly watchable film that even the casual music fan should find themselves totally engrossed in” and soon you’ll be able to check it out. “Muscle Shoals” opens in limited release and arrives on VOD on September 27th.