Muscle Shoals played last week as part of The Carolina’s Music Madness mini-festival. However, it proved so popular and well-received that it earned another week as a solo offering, so I’m re-running a slightly expanded version of my brief review of it from the larger Music Madness. This is a movie that richly deserves the attention of every pop/rock/R&B fan.
This slick and fairly comprehensive documentary about Rick Hall’s FAME recording studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., almost certainly has the broadest appeal of any music documentary this year, if only by virtue of the number of artists and hit songs showcased. In the course of its 111 minutes of fantastic music, we get appearances by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bono, Greg Allman, Jimmy Cliff, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, and many more. It’s another improbable story of the dirt-poor Hall, who became a legendary figure in the music business, and about the all-white musicians known as the Swampers, who helped form the distinctive sound of some of the biggest R&B hits of all time. That it happens to be true is a bonus. That it affords the viewer nearly two hours of impeccable storytelling should be all you need to know. See this movie.
Playing at Carolina Cinemas