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Etta James

New Documentary Celebrates The Muscle Shoals Sound

New Documentary Celebrates The Muscle Shoals Sound

The final verse of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1974 hit single “Sweet Home Alabama” — “Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers / and they've been known to pick a song or two” — probably confused generations of pre-Wikipedia radio listeners.

Swampers? Muscle Shoals? Both real, it turns out, and explained in great detail in Muscle Shoals, a new documentary opening at Hartford’s Real Art Ways on November 29.

Muscle Shoals — a near-mythical place at the intersection of four small- to mid-size northern Alabama towns bordering the Tennessee River — became an early-’60s hotbed of Southern Soul, thanks to the efforts of one angry man (Rick Hall, founder of Fame Recording Studios) and a group of young...