Legendary record producer Rick Hall, founder of FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, passed away earlier this year, and Rick’s son, Rodney Hall, and longtime partner, Keith Stegall, rounded up an all-star lineup of musicians to honor the “Father of Muscle Shoals Music”. The new compilation, Muscle Shoals… Small Town, Big Sound, due out September 28th via BMG, will honor over a dozen of America’s most cherished musicians, who graced FAME Recording Studios over the past half-century.
In an attempt to re-record beloved and iconic songs originally recorded at FAME Recording Studios, Rodney Hall and Stegall recruited the best of the best to create a one-of-a-kind collaborative compilation. The album opens up with Keb’ Mo’ covering Clarence Carter’s R&B classic “The Road Of Love”. Other tracks on the album include a Grace Potter cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind”, an Alison Krauss cover of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Come And Go Blues”, an Alan Jackson cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses”, and a cover of Candi Staton’s “I Ain’t Easy To Love” that includes Staton, Jason Isbell, and John Paul White.
Rick’s son Rodney Hall explained in a statement to Billboard:
The sound is one-of-a-kind. When younger artists hear all of the music that came out of here over the past five decades, they want to check it out. This album is special because it brings together artists that have been inspired by the magic of the Muscle Shoals Sound.
Another highlight on the album is Doobie Brothers frontman and frequent Steely Dan collaborator, Michael McDonald, offered up a moving rendition of Etta James’ “Cry Like A Rainy Day”. McDonald commented to Billboard that,
Returning to Muscle Shoals to record a track at Fame Studios was like being given the chance to return to my youth for a day. So much of the music that shaped my consciousness was recorded right here, on this spot, in this building and with, for the most part, these very musicians. It will always rank among my most cherished memories.
A portion of the upcoming Muscle Shoals… Small Town, Big Sound’s sales will be donated to the Grammy Foundation and the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation. To pre-order a copy of Muscle Shoals… Small Town, Big Sound, head here.
RollingStone premiered video of Steven Tyler and Nuno Bettencourt’s cover of the Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar”. Watch the video below.
Steven Tyler & Nuno Bettencourt – “Brown Sugar” – Muscle Shoals… Small Town, Big Sound
Watch below for a brief trailer of Muscle Shoals… Small Town, Big Sound.
Look below for the album’s full track listing.
The Road Of Love – Keb’ Mo’
I’d Rather Go Blind – Grace Potter
Brown Sugar – Steven Tyler & Nuno Bettencourt
Gotta Serve Somebody – Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton & Lee Ann Womack
Steal Away – Eli “Paperboy” Reed
Snatching It Back – Kid Rock
I’ll Take You There – Aloe Blacc
Cry Like A Rainy Day – Michael McDonald
True Love – Vince Gill & Wendy Moten
Come And Go Blues – Alison Krauss
Respect Yourself – Mike Farris with The Blind Boys of Alabama
Wild Horses – Alan Jackson
Mustang Sally – Brently Stephen Smith of Shinedown
We’ve Got Tonight – Chord Overstreet
Giving It Up For Your Love – Tom Johnston & Delbert McClinton
I Ain’t Easy To Love – Candi Staton with Jason Isbell & John Paul White