Muscle Shoals Review – An All Access Pass into Rock and Roll History

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Muscle Shoals, from Magnolia Pictures and Ear Goggle Productions, presents the inspiring journey of a group of unknown musicians plucked from obscurity and placed center stage as they create rock and roll history.

Directed by Greg 'Freddy' Camalier, and produced by Stephen Badger, Muscle Shoals begins in a town buried deep in the south, with Rick Hall, a man destined for greatness, sitting on the porch of a dilapidated shack exposing his humble beginnings.

Overcoming presumed insurmountable obstacles, Rick Hall was born in poverty, on the scope of humble; his beginnings would be considered extreme. He and the members of the original Fame Studios rhythm section would say off the charts.


Celebrity Interview: Speaking with Phil Rudd of AC/DC on New Album and Euro Tour

These men, Roger Hawkins, (drums), David Hood, (bass), Jimmy Johnson, (guitar), and Spooner Oldman,(organ), along with Hall, were local to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, population 8,000. A town situated on the Tennessee River, known by the locals as "The River that Sings" and was steeped in tradition and respect and most known as the birthplace of disability advocate Helen Keller.

Rick Hall, as he tells his story, begins explaining his life as a child, a dirt floor, no indoor plumbing, deep poverty, the death of his baby brother, the separation of his parents, the death of his first wife; sorrow upon sorrow left its mark in the soul of this man.

The music of sorrow, a song few have heard and even fewer understand, music birth in the cotton fields, in hope, in the song of hurt, pain and struggle became a song that would propel the tiny town and these five men into rock and roll history.

After deciding he wanted to make music, with determination he began to pursue his dreams, he was considered driven, for the 1950’s, and was fired. It was then his wife died in a car accident. After this tragedy he returned to the music business with a determination to, as he said, "kick ass and take names."

The jam sessions included a group of local teenagers, wanting to be a part of this 28 year old man’s vision. Like all, they were along for the ride not sure where it would take them.

History walked in the door as Rick Hall met a young Percy Sledge and they decided they would cut a record. That record "When a Man Loves a Woman" was playing in the background when Hall telephoned Jerry Wexler, a former Billboard journalist tuned music producer, and at that time one of the most influential men in the business and he agreed to sign him. According to Wexler, "we cut and pressed" the Percy Sledge tune that went to number one.

That began a lifelong relationship with Hall, one that saw good days and deeply dark days and even according to Hall, “'war."

The falling out between Wexler and Hall came over the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who, after five years with CBS records, couldn’t find a hit or her voice. The session musicians at FAME were nervous, as the story is described, and after getting one good demo, her husband and the trumpet player "were drinking from the same jug" which ended badly. Wexler and Hall were finished after that day. And vengeance often doesn’t stop until one or the other is in the grave.


Mudbound Review – Exceptional Character Driven Performances; A Triumph

Wexler offered the studio musicians, the original FAME Rhythm Section, gigs to play in New York as Aretha was completing her first album. Every song that established her as the Queen of Soul was produced with a group of white guys jamming out a tune that they were born to play.

Wexler, hell bent on destruction, offered the guys their own studio in exchange for an exclusive contract that excluded Rick Hall. Wexler believed he had completed the ultimate revenge, steal the studio musicians from Hall and he would be finished, over. If Wexler took the sound that made him famous his clients would head for the tune that was producing Gold.

Simultaneously, Hall had just signed a life changing deal with Capital records and was in the process of explaining the deal to the guys when they broke their news. The war years began. Wexler and Muscle Shoals Studio and Hall, Capital Records and Fame Studios, became the most sought after recording rooms in the world.

Sorrow can debiltate or drive you and these men are living witnesses of inner strength, drive and determination. Rick Hall took his sorrow and anguish after the death of his father wrote the song "Patches" which was recorded by Clarence Carter and went Gold and on to win a Grammy.

The interviews contained in this 111minute documentary are every music lovers dream. Bono describes the music of the river; Mick Jagger remembers the early Stones recording sessions; Keith Richards talks about the tunes; Steve Winwood tells about the innocence of the musicians; Donna Jean Godchaux, of the Grateful Dead, explained the moment she knew it was special.

Wilson Picket talks about his Soul brother Rick Hall; Aretha explains the demise of Wexler and Hall. Story after story is recounted including when Paul Simon called and asked for the "colored" band and back-up that sang on the Staples Singers and being told you can have them but they’re mighty "pale."  

The list of luminaries Cher, Gregg Allman, Lynard Skynard, Boz Scaggs, Bob Dylan, Candi Staton, Etta James, Alicia Keys,  Everyone from Capital – Mac Davis, Joe Tex, the Osmond Brothers, Clarence Carter, Otis Redding, Bobby Gentry, Paul Anka, Tom Jones all were a part of the hit producing FAME Recording Studios and the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

"Muscle Shoals" is more than a historical overview of the recording industry, it profoundly details the humanity, the sorrow that shaped lives, and became the fuel to drive these men. It is inspirational.

"Muscle Shoals" was an official selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival and the 2013 Full Frame Film Festival. "Muscle Shoals" took the Audience Award Winner at the 2013 HotDocs Film Festival.

"Muscle Shoals" can be seen nationwide and also on VOD, Google Play and across other streaming platforms.

"Muscle Shoals" is a must see documentary.

Haute Tease

  • True Story Review - Franco/Hill Docu-Drama Scores Stunning Box Office Win

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    TRUE STORY, from Fox Searchlight Pictures and New Regency/Plan B Production, present a chilling docu-drama highlighting the heinous, sadistic murders of MaryJane Longo and her three children at the hands of her now convicted husband.

     
  • The Trip to Italy Review - A Five Star Michelin Rated Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Trip to Italy," from IFC Films, BBC Films and Revolution Films, brings to the screen the perfect summer vacation adventure for those of us who can't indulge in an all expenses five star paid vacation through Italy.

     
  • Anna Wilding, Award Winning Director, Launches Skin Care Line

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Anna Wilding, international actress and award winning director of the critically acclaimed documentary "Buddha Wild," has launched Kalon Skincare, an ecologically balanced natural beauty cream.

     
  • China Set on Increasing Air Defense Boundaries

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The People’s Republic of China has recently announced the extension of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, establishing an extended militarized area further into what was recognized as international waters.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Immigration Breakdown; Ferguson; Ebola Vaccine; Obama Children Targeted; Stop VAW Day

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama reluctantly accepted the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the second Senior Cabinet official to give notice, as the White House begins the transition into the final quarter of the Obama presidency.

     
  • Homicide Ruling in Staten Island Choke Victim Case

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The death of Eric Garner, 43, the Staten Island father of two choked to death by New York Police Officers after being detained on a city street, has been ruled a homicide by the New York City Medical Examiner.

     
  • DEMOLITION Review – Powerful, Moving, Brilliant

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    DEMOLITION, from FOX Searchlight Pictures, brings to the screen the story of inarticulate emotion of grief and the many ways grief manifest with the lives of those who, by design are supposed to have it all together.

     
  • Mother’s Day Gift Guide - Last-Minute Ideas

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the selfless, dedication Mom’s display are well worth the one day dedicated to them. As you head to Mom’s with the requisite bouquet remember all she has done and add a little substance to the fluff.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Democrats Advert Second Shutdown, NY Says No To Bezos, Indian Terror Attack, 2020 News

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump signed the bi-partisan bill adverting a second government shutdown and immediately indicated he would issue a national emergency declaration bypassing congress, negating their judicial authority, and essentially rendering them impotent in any further Border Wall negotiations.

     
  • Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Announces Plan to Rubber Stamp “Not To Be Used to Bribe Politicians” on over 2MM Dollar Bills

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Supreme Court said, when it comes to elections, money is free speech, so we're going to make our money scream," says Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Head Stamper of StampStampede.org.

     
  • Berta Fall Winter 2016 Bridal Collection Debuts

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Berta’s avant-garde designs have taken the bridal world by storm. Her Fall/Winter 2016 collection is a sophisticated creation that pushes the boundaries. With an artistic approach she has managed to surprise even the most veteran fashion editors and bloggers.

     
  • Swiss Forensic Specialist ID Frozen Couple

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two mummified bodies, well preserved and intact, were identified by Swiss forensic specialist as that of a husband and wife who disappeared nearly 75 years ago after telling their children they were going to feed the animals.

     
  • Nine Dead, 17 Injured; 192 Arrested in Waco Biker Brawl

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Nine gang members shot and killed each other in a Wild West gangland shoot out at the Twin Peaks Bar and Grill in Waco, Texas, in what has been described as the worst crimes in almost 35 years of law enforcement.

     
  • Emanuel Andren Chocolates - A Taste of Elegance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Swedish Chocolatier Emanuel Andren launched into the North American confections market with a whirlwind Southern California trip that began at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and concluded with a sampling at the historic Chateau Marmont in Hollywood.

     
  • Capella Pedregal’s Tortuguitas Kids Club: Creating Vacation Legacies Through Cuisine, Art And Distinctive First-Time Children’s Experiences

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Capella Pedregal's Tortuguitas ("Little Turtles") Kids Club aims to deliver such an experience and offers a variety of activities and experiences for children of all ages to enjoy while parents can rest easy, soaking in all that Capella has to offer – activities for 'tweens and teens are also available.