Posts Tagged ‘Muscle Shoals’

Cautionary Tale

The third studio long-player from the Muscle Shoals-born crooner, the aptly named Cautionary Tale finds singer songwriter Dylan LeBlanc exorcizing some personal demons while injecting some much needed pomp and circumstance into his signature blend of breezy, ’70s West Coast singer/songwriter pop and Bible Belt-bred Gothic Americana. A conscious attempt to avoid relying on the self-described “sad bastard songs” that were so prevalent on his prior two releases, Cautionary Tale doesn’t exactly shake the rafters, but the addition of a rhythm section, along with copious amounts of cello, violin, and viola, certainly helps to expand the young troubadour’s sound.

His high and lonesome croon sits much higher in the mix this time around, and imbues highlights like the lush and lovely tracks “Roll the Dice,” the snappy and soulful “Easy Way Out,” and the road trip-ready title cut with an air of confidence that had been missing up to now. Even the quieter moments, of which there are still quite a few, especially on the LP’s more laconic back half, are bolstered by tight production and the sterling performances of both LeBlanc and his band.

LeBlanc hasn’t travelled the easiest road. And while some would find it hard to shed a tear for the young balladeer, the trials and tribulations that strode alongside his first two albums are the cornerstones of Cautionary Tale, and we are all the beneficiaries. Spin often, and with much care.

Get Your Sticky Fingers On The Sticky Fingers Reissue


Sticky Fingers was over 500 days in the making; from when recording began to when it was originally released in April 1971 – anticipation from fans was intense. The anticipation had been heightened by a UK tour in March, the filming of a show at London’s legendary Marquee Club and by the fact that The Rolling Stones had announced that they were going to live in France.

Upon its release the album was greeted with delight by fans and critics alike. As Rolling Stone magazine said, “It is the latest beautiful chapter in the continuing story of the greatest rock group in the world,” The reissue of “Sticky Fingers” has been over 16,000 days in the making, The original Sticky Fingers is a perfect record. Great music, an album cover that’s iconic and the story around its making that has added to its appeal. Many classic Stones’ records were recorded in America, at both RCA’s studio in Hollywood and at Chess Records in Chicago, but for Sticky Fingers the band chose a far less glamorous studio, one in the Southern States that only those in the musical-know had heard of – Muscle Shoals Sound in Sheffield, Alabama.

Having finished their tour of the US in December 1969 the Rolling Stones flew to Muscle Shoals where they recorded three songs that are at the very heart of the album – ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘You Gotta Move’. As Keith later said, “I thought it was one of the easiest and rockingest sessions that we’d ever done. I don’t think we’ve been quite so prolific…ever.” The band then flew from Muscle Shoals to San Francisco on 5th December, and 24 hours later they played their infamous free concert at Altamont.
Over the course of the next year the band worked on more recordings at London’s Olympic Studios and at Mick’s country house, Stargroves using the Stones Mobile, to capture the remainder of the tracks that make up the album.

But 1970 was not all about recording, far from it. There was a European tour and behind the scenes there was much changing. The Stones had decided to leave Decca Records at the end of their contract period and to start their own label that was to be funded by another record company; after much negotiation the band decided to go with Ahmet Ertegun and Atlantic Records.

Forming their own label meant coming up with a name and an identity – the name was simple, Rolling Stones Records, but the identity and the logo took a little longer. As we now all know it was the famous ‘tongue and lips’ that became that identity and has since become the most recognisable band logo in the world, as well as one of the most well known brands.

Given some of the issues that the band had faced with earlier record covers they were determined to have an album that looked they way they wanted and so Mick and Charlie set about working with Andy Warhol to come up with a concept that the band loved. The album with its fully working zip on the original release is now one of the best-known covers in the world; at the time the New Musical Express was prompted to write, “Fame has spread from Mick Jagger’s lips to his zips.” It was all part of the single mindedness with which the Rolling Stones went about getting this record, just right.

Sticky Fingers Deluxe Vinyl
By the time mixing was completed in early 1971 the band had two things on their collective minds. A short tour of the UK and a move to France, a tour to say farewell and a move necessitated by financial mismanagement over a long period that would have bankrupted the band had they stayed in Britain.

And so it was that on 16 April 1971 ‘Brown Sugar’ came out in the UK and a week later Sticky Fingers was released around the world. 44 years later, on 26 May 2015 in North America, and a day earlier in the rest of the world, Sticky Fingers is to be reissued in a variety of formats.

Of course there is the original album on both CD, vinyl and as a download but there are a number of other releases that will include previously unavailable material contained within the Deluxe and Super Deluxe formats. These include the alternative version of ‘Brown Sugar’ featuring Eric Clapton along with unreleased interpretations of ‘Bitch,’ ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ and ‘Dead Flowers’, and an acoustic take on the anthemic ‘Wild Horses.’

Sticky Fingers Super Deluxe Box
The Super Deluxe edition will include, ‘Get Your Leeds Lungs Out,’ the 13-track audio recording of the Stones’ gig in Leeds in March 1971. There’s also two numbers from the band’s Marquee Club show of 26th March, 1971 on DVD. The Super Deluxe Edition includes a beautiful 120 page hardback book complete with real zip, featuring new liner notes and many rare and unseen photographs from the era plus a print, postcard set and more.

Hannah Aldridge has her debut album ‘Razor Wire’ is a slice of Dark Americana born from the real life experiences and music influences of her upbringing in Nashville, Tennessee and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Hannah Aldridge is an Americana/ Folk artist originally from Muscle Shoals, Al. She is the daughter of the #1 hit songwriter and Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductee, Walt Aldridge, who has written and produced for such artist as Lou Reed, Reba McEntire, and Conway Twitty and has been named songwriter of the year twice by Billboard. Early in Hannah’s writing career, she was recognized for her astounding ability to capture emotion and ability to stun with her sultry vocals.
“I think people have forgotten what real drums and real voices sound like. We have been so overexposed to these pre-packaged “#1 hits” that when there is anything that has any glimpse of truth or rawness to it, it is like a fresh breath of air. Americana music really is lyrically driven and is meant to make people think, which is the total opposite of most of the stuff out there on the radio, so I think that naturally people are being drawn towards it.” says Aldridge.


“Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory”, released in 1973, was the seventh album and sixth studio album by the band Traffic. It followed their 1971 album “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boysand contained five songs. while achieving poorer reviews than its predecessor, the album did reach number six on the American charts, one space higher than “Low Spark”  Like its predecessor, the original jacket for the “Shoot Out” LP had its top right and bottom left corners clipped. The album was remastered for CD in 2003.

What an excellent band assembled here, with the band adding Muscle Shoals rhythm section greats David Hood on bass and Roger Hawkins on drums. That band would tour that year and record the fantastic live album “On The Road”, also featuring the song “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired”.
Steve Winwood talked about the song with Musician Magazine in 1982: “That song reflected a lot of things: the state of rock n’ roll world at that point, my own frame of mind, and struggle with my health. It was just an honest thing: the song was talking about a definite sometime-feeling I get. We can’t be inspired all the time, can we? And those of us, who are made to feel that we have to be, grow weary and even sick from the stress of the crazy, unfair responsibility put on us.”
Winwood plays a fantastic, inspired (ha!) guitar solo on this tune.
The beautiful cover art is by Tony Wright who created many great covers in the 1970s,

All songs written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi unless otherwise indicated.

  1. “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory” – 6:05
  2. “Roll Right Stones” – 13:40
  3. “Evening Blue” – 5:19
  4. “Tragic Magic” (Chris Wood) – 6:43
  5. “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired” – 7:31

After two exemplary releases, Traffic released “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory”, which begins with the title track, based on a guitar riff reminiscent of the recent Deep Purple hit “Smoke on the Water,” and continues through the lengthy “Roll Right Stones,” the folkish ballad “Evening Blue,” reed player Chris Wood’s instrumental “Tragic Magic,” and the uncertain self-help song “(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired.” Lyricist Jim Capaldi was co-credited with Steve Winwood as the album’s producer, and he may have contributed to the cleaner mix that made his words easier to understand. Meanwhile, the rhythm section had been replaced by Muscle Shoals studio aces David Hood and Roger Hawkins. Capaldi sings no songs here, and Chris Wood’s flute and saxophone, so often the flavouring of Traffic songs, are largely absent. Muscle Shoals rhythm section, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, David Hood along with Jimmy Johnson for contributing their musical skills on this and the live “On The Road” live album that followed.



the Quiet Hounds from Muscle Shoals Atlanta and the song “Young Clover” which has a simplistic wonderful charm about the song, bending and twisting melodies ranging from modern power pop and indie rock from this supergroup of local musicians from the Atlanta Music scene, obscuring their identities with animal masks, with a sound perhaps rooted in the past with the Civil War a recurring theme in their songs