Monday, November 09, 2015

Amy Black - The Muscle Shoals Sessions

Boston-based singer Amy Black has a new recording "The Muscle Shoals Sessions" (Rueben Records). Muscle Shoals, Alabama holds a special place for her as her parents were born there and she fondly remembers visiting her grandparents there. Furthermore, she was inspired by Etta James, Mavis Staples, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and so many others who recorded some of modern music’s most iconic songs in this little Alabama hamlet.

Black’s project pays homage to the music made at both FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, one-time home of the Swampers, and also expands a 2013 EP she recorded that Spooner Oldham participated on for a full album. Recorded at FAME studios with producer/bass player Lex Price, it has contributions by keyboardist Spooner Oldham – one of Muscle Shoals’ original “Swampers” session players – along with guitarist Will Kimbrough, drummers Paul Griffith & Bryan Owings and singers Ann and Regina McCrary and a horn section led by Muscle Shoals Horns ringleader Charles Rose.

Amy Black does quite an able job of covering some southern soul classics as well as provide her own spin on Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" and the spiritual "You Got to Move" along with a few originals. Highpoints include her own "Woman on Fire" as well as her take on the Dan Penn-Spooner Oldham gem "Uptight, Good Man," another Dan Penn classic (penned with O. Franck and Rick Hall and made famous by Otis Redding and Barbara Lynn) "You Left the Water Running," and Arthur Alexander's country soul classic that helped establish the Muscle Shoals Sound, "You Better Move On." Amy Black's "The Muscle Shoals Sessions," is a nicely done recording with heartfelt singing and solid backing that captures some classic vibes.

I received my copy from a publicist.Here is a video of You Better Move On."

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