Boasting an awesome list of interviewee’s and narrators including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Aretha Franklin, Bono, Etta James and Alicia Keys, “Muscle Shoals” is a documentary following the story of how an unassuming little town on the outskirts of Alabama became the home of a uniquely funky rhythm and blues sound.
We are given an insight into the life and character of Rick Hall, founder of FAME studio, and the original Muscle Shoals sound of the 70’s. Following how he and his rhythm section, ‘The Swampers,’ utilised their out-of-town location in order to create a studio environment united in allowing ideas and inspirations to flow freely. Away from the prejudice and racial divisions of the time.
Directed by Gregg ‘Freddy’ Camalier, the compilation of some of the greatest music of all time combined with archive footage and photography allows ‘Muscle Shoals’ to paint a picture of the individuals involved in the major musical movement.
Whether it was fate, timing, hard work, or something in the water, the phenomenon of the original sounds created within the FAME studio and Muscle Shoals sounds will forever be remembered. With it’s unbeatable track listing, this documentary is a vital musical education. It’s a must see for anyone with a passion for soul, funk or rhythm and blues.
words by Isabella Gamble