Category Archives: People.

The Greatest City in Alabam

Write Me a Birmingham

I’m really happy to share that work on book two begins today. This time, I’m going to share the history of Birmingham music.

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Why We Root

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Why We Root

There’s a thing that used to drive me mad. I’d walk into a supermarket wearing an Auburn t-shirt, often not having given my choice of attire any thought, and be told by a cashier, “That’s the ugliest shirt I’ve ever seen.”

I hardly ever found that could be true. The thing that the person actually wanted to say to me was, “I see that you enjoy rooting for Auburn. I enjoy rooting for Alabama. Would you care to discuss college football with me? I believe that my team will be victorious in our next contest.”

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The Blue

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The Blue

“There really ain’t no difference

in Michigan and Maine

If you ain’t here to see this I’m missing just the same.” – Jason Isbell, ‘The Blue.’

 I realize the absurdity of the notion, but there really ain’t no difference in Boston and Birmingham.

The former is the sixth-largest media market in America, while our Magic City is the 43rd. The former saw the American Revolution play out in its’ streets, while the latter was one of the largest stages of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960’s. The former is home to the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Celtics, the Bruins. The latter just moved its’ AA baseball team back downtown three years ago.

Boston counts John Adams, Samuel Adams, Aerosmith, Louisa May Alcott and Ben Affleck among its most famous natives, and that’s just among things that begin with the letter “A.” The most notable people from Birmingham are all athletes, but its’ at least an impressive list that includes Willie Mays, Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson and Vonetta Flowers.

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Stories and a Lesson From the Road

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Stories and a Lesson From the Road

When The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME was released on June 29 of this year, I didn’t go on some sort of full blown book tour or anything like that, but I did make a few stops across the state of Alabama. And that’s an interesting thing; chatting with people that you don’t know about this thing that you have created that they connect with.

When I finished writing the book, I never really looked at it again. It was no longer mine. It belonged to the publisher, it belonged to the people that bought it (many of you) and it belonged to the Shoals community; the latter being my top priority in the effort. When I negotiated that deal, I wanted to find a way to bridge a giant divide from the “Muscle Shoals” story that had been told and the one that we are still living out. There was no blueprint for that, and I felt the best way to create one was to simply speak to the people that lived it, people still living it, people that I call friends.

I think I hit the target. I’ve been told, at least, that the work was partially responsible for new life in the Fiddleworms. And nothing could make me happier.

But I digress.

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Tomorrow Will Be Kinder

Tomorrow Will Be Kinder

“Tomorrow will be kinder

It’s true, I’ve seen it before

A brighter day is coming my way

Yes, tomorrow will be kinder.”

Music attorney John Strohm said something on Twitter Saturday, as we all sought answers, as we all grieved the events unfolding in Paris.

“I don’t mean this lightly…but the terrorists messing with a rock show really crosses a psychological line for me. Way too close to home.”

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Dylan LeBlanc brings ‘Cautionary Tale’ to Workplay

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Dylan LeBlanc brings ‘Cautionary Tale’ to Workplay

It feels like Dylan LeBlanc should be older than 25. His debut, Paupers Field, was released when he was just 20-years-old, and the Muscle Shoals singer-songwriter is now readying his third; a much quicker ascent than most of his peers in Northwest Alabama. But he’s always been around it – his dad, James, moved from Shreveport to Muscle Shoals to begin a writing career at FAME when Dylan was young. Because of the move, Dylan has spent most of his life migrating between the two cities.

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Pegasus In-Store with Jay Burgess, Russell Mefford and Hannah Aldridge

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The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME: In-Store performance and signing at Pegasus Records

On Saturday, July 18, I was joined by Jay Burgess of The Pollies, Russell Mefford of Fiddleworms and Hannah Aldridge for a discussion and performance to celebrate the release of “The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME.” Each had a big hand in the book’s story, and each was gracious enough to join me for the chat. Hear the audio from the event below:

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