When I was much younger... the line “in Muscle Shoals they got the swampers“ seemed just like another cool lyric from Sweet Home Alabama... that was until I spent the last 4 days in Muscle Shoals, and yes, actually jammed and recorded with one of the swampers.
What could be cooler? Recording a song at legendary Fame Studios with the one and only Steven Tyler.
If you have not yet seen the documentary “MUSCLE SHOALS” please do, it’s a must see. The artists, the history, the phenomenon that had legends posing the question, why, what makes this place so special. The Mystery and Mojo of the singing river?
After these past few days of being in that studio, the same studio that was home to Little Richard, Duane Allman, Aretha Franklin, The Stones, Wilson Pickett... the list is endless, I felt the indescribable spirit and emotion.
At the heart of all of this was a man named Rick Hall, who founded Fame studios. He overcame crushing poverty and staggering family tragedy and brought Black and White together in the midst of Alabama’s racial hostility to create music for generations to come while birthing the Muscle Shoals Sound.
As long as I’ve had the honor, the privilege, to know one of greatest singers and performers in Rock History, S Tyler, this was the first time I’ve gotten in studio with you. I watch you perform on stage now, and I scratch my head as to how it’s possible that you’re singing and performing stronger at 70 than back in the day. I now know why you’re the legend that you are. The PASSION. You brought love and care into every note of what you and I created together, inspiring. I thought I was crazy obsessed with making music, but I finally met my match.
17 hour days In that studio with you was working with a ROCKet missle day in day out.
You know you’ve had fun and made new family and friends, when it’s hard to leave.
I’ll miss ya’ll down there... But I’m ok with it.
Cause once you’ve been to the Shoals ... you never truly leave.
A piece of you... is there forever.