“The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME” isn’t the same telling of the FAME story you know. Rather, this story is about the impact Florence Alabama Music Enterprises, the recording studio and publishing company, had on the community that surrounded it and how it changed the next fifty years of music in Muscle Shoals. I couldn’t make all of the photos that I had at my disposal work in the book, and over the next couple of weeks, I’ll try to provide a little more context for this story with some of the photos that I couldn’t use.
The Shooters were a country songwriting supergroup, bridging the period most known for sessions through the glory days of Muscle Shoals songwriting to the current live scene which has evolved in the last decade. Walt Aldridge, Gary Baker, Barry Billings, Chalmers Davis and Mike Dillon – the first two wrote a pile of country hits you’re unaware that you know, while Billings mentored kids like Chris Tompkins, Shonna Tucker, Bo Bice and Jason Isbell at La Fonda’s Mexican Restaurant on Highway 72. During a dark period when the Shoals doesn’t receive a lot of credit for the music it was creating, The Shooters gave the community life.
I’ll be signing copies of “The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME” at Alabama Booksmith on June 29. They will have an exclusive hardcover edition of the book for sale, which you can reserve here. You can also preorder on Amazon here. I have also created a Spotify playlist that offers a little more context for the time period the book covers. Subscribe to it here.
The Best of Bonnaroo 2015.
It’s impossible to see everything at Bonnaroo. Further, it’s impossible to see everything that you want to see at Bonnaroo. The lineup is expansive and the grounds are sprawling. At some point in my five years of attending the festival, I realized that, and I made peace with selecting performances that I couldn’t often see, smaller stages and with absorbing more complete representations of a performance, rather than bouncing around, stage to stage, and catching 15 minutes of many different acts.
So I didn’t watch Alabama Shakes. Or My Morning Jacket. Because I have gotten and will likely get plenty of Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket. Both just released terrific new records that I love, but there were opportunities to see new and interesting things while their sets were going on, and I took advantage.
It’s objective, and no two experiences at this or any other festival can be the same. I repeat that every year, but there are music “critics” out there that seem to believe that their opinion is subjective and authoritative, so I feel like I have to keep repeating myself. I think I have pretty good taste, and if I have given you a track record to back that up, maybe you’ll continue to agree with my opinions and trust that my taste won’t steer yours wrong.
“The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME” isn’t the same telling of the FAME story you know. Rather, this story is about the impact Florence Alabama Music Enterprises, the recording studio and publishing company, had on the community that surrounded it and how it changed the next fifty years of music in Muscle Shoals.
I couldn’t make all of the photos that I had at my disposal work in the book, and over the next couple of weeks, I’ll try to provide a little more context for this story with some of the photos that I couldn’t use.
The Best of Hangout 2015
The sixth year of the Hangout Music and Arts Festival is in the books, and while the festival never officially sold out this year, there were plenty of acts to satisfy plenty of fans on the beaches of Gulf Shores. EDM didn’t seem to weigh quite as heavy on the schedule this year as it has in recent years, with the exception of Skrillex, who closed out Saturday night on the Surf Stage. He also joined Diplo for an unexpected set opposite Foo Fighters’ headlining slot on Friday as Sam Smith’s recent vocal cord surgery forced the British crooner to cancel his appearance just before the festival.
The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME is due June 29
To celebrate the release of The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME, I’ll be doing a signing at Alabama Booksmith in Homewood on June 29 from 4-6 p.m. There, you’ll be able to purchase a limited edition hardback first edition of the book. If you’d like to reserve one of these hardcovers in advance, you can do so at Alabama Booksmith’s site. Alabama Booksmith will be the only place hardbacks can be purchased. Hardbacks are $27.99.
Live out of the area? I’m hoping that I can make my way to you soon, but in the meantime, you can preorder the book on Amazon.
You know, maybe this is a two part post. I don’t know. Because on Saturday, a lot of things are going to happen. A lot of new memories are going to be made. It’s going to be a big time. But I wanted to share some of the photos that I have dug up before Saturday arrives.
Filed under Music., People.
Ells. Scalici. The Fight Song Challenge.
Here’s the deal, y’all. On May 22, the offices at The Literacy Council were badly damaged in a fire. So much so, the non-profit was forced to temporarily relocate. This year, I have served as the Junior Board Chair for The Literacy Council, which has proven to be as unique of a like situation one could find themselves in – what began as a year with a few regular fundraisers with modest aims has turned into a year in which the Junior Board is assisting the Board of Directors in attempts to raise $500,000 by the end of August in order to handle these repairs and make other necessary improvements.
A few words about an announcement?
I don’t know where to start with this. I’ve never shied from gloating about personal achievements, but then in my defense, I’ve never shied about sharing disastrous failures and shortcomings. I began radio at the age of 17, and by the age of 22, my life was playing out, daily, on 50,000 watts. At minimum, eight hours a day. I’d often joke with my ex, “If you ever wanted to cheat on me, you can turn on your radio and know exactly where I am one third of every day.” I didn’t expect her to use that to her advantage.
So I’ve never really known privacy as an adult and always kind of accepted that my life and its obstacles and successes were “warts and all.” And I think, at least, that that transparency is part of why people enjoy whatever it is that I do.
There. That was frank. So I want to share the first hurdle I have crossed in achieving a lifelong dream.
Filed under Music., People.
Passion Pit comes to Iron City Live on Thursday, October 3. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show beginning at 8 p.m. The Joy Formidable opens. A very limited number of tickets still remain for $32 and can be purchased online or at the venue.
I spoke to bassist Jeff Apruzzese about how the band chooses songs to remix, how they will scale down their set from Hangout and Bonnaroo to fit Iron City and frontman Michael Angelakos’s public battle with mental illness.
Hunters returns to BottleTree on Thursday, August 15. The band will take the stage second on a bill that includes three acts; Hunx and His Punx will headline, while The Shine Brothers will open. Doors are at 8 p.m. with the first band taking the stage at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
I spoke to Izzy Almeida, the band’s captivating lead vocalist about her style and when the band expects to followup its debut EP with its first full-length. And cassettes. We talked about cassettes.