Happy Holidays from FAME Studios

At FAME Studios, we continue to share our passion for the unique and iconic Muscle Shoals sound. We couldn’t have predicted the enthusiasm our revitalized efforts would generate, but our ongoing celebration of the enduring musical legacy that springs from Muscle Shoals, Ala., is winning new fans, far and wide, day after day.

We’re working to bring you the full Muscle Shoals experience with our recently released album, revamped website, new merchandise, and tours of the iconic FAME Studios, as we promote the heritage of this small-town, one-of-a-kind sound.

And you have the opportunity to make yourself a part of the magic. Come take a tour of our legendary studio and soak in the soul of Muscle Shoals.

P.S. Save the date! In 2019, we’ll be celebrating FAME’s 60th anniversary with a very special show this summer. Stay tuned — there’s more to come!

 

ON SALE NOW
Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound Bundle

For fans — new and old — of the Muscle Shoals sound, enthusiasts of the Americana genre, music history buffs, and those who simply want to wear or share their love for all things FAME, new merchandise including hats, T-shirts, mugs, guitar picks and more, is available on famestudios.com/store/

Curated by Rodney Hall and producer Keith Stegall, the 16-track tribute album spotlights the one-of-a-kind Muscle Shoals sound — a distinctive blend of gritty, edgy, classic southern rock and soul mixed with the soulful energy and authenticity the FAME Studio inspired in artists who recorded there.

And now, for a limited time, in celebration of the reboot of the FAME website, our recently released Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound tribute album and FAME’s revitalized website, and with heartfelt gratitude for our legion of fans who have joined us in promoting and memorializing the unique and enduring musical legacy of small-town Muscle Shoals, Ala., we are offering the Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound Bundle. Pay homage to the indisputable heartbeat of the iconic Muscle Shoals sound with this collection of items bearing artwork from the album cover. Your bundle includes a T-shirt, postcard, CD, coffee mug, koozie and fridge magnet. Visit our store to order today.

 

Gratitude for our team and community of supporters

FAME is a family, both literally and figuratively. This season is a time to reflect on all that we have accomplished together and a chance to say Thank You to our team, the partners we collaborate with, the industry, the field of the recording arts and, of course, the listeners we serve. We carry the vision for honoring the past and looking ahead to the future of the Muscle Shoals Sound and carrying that vision of progress and creativity into the new year.

Your friends at FAME

 

Jason Isbell re-releases his FAME recorded debut album “Sirens of the Ditch”

New West Records is set to release Jason Isbell’s Sirens Of The Ditch (Deluxe Edition) on July 13. Originally released in 2007, the album was co-produced by Isbell and his former Drive-By Truckers bandmate, Patterson Hood.

Sirens Of The Ditch was recorded at FAME Recording Studio in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Isbell is joined by Brad Morgan of the Drive-By Truckers on drums, and former Drive-By Truckers member, Shonna Tucker on bass. Several musicians pop in for cameos including the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section players David Hood (Patterson’s father) and Spooner Oldham on “Down In A Hole,” John Neff of Drive-By Truckers on “Dress Blues,” and Patterson Hood on “Shotgun Wedding.” Sirens Of The Ditch (Deluxe Edition) features four previously unreleased songs from the original sessions at FAME, recorded by Jimmy Nutt and Rodney Hall.

Sirens Of The Ditch (Deluxe Edition) will be available across digital platforms, on compact disc, as well as 180g vinyl. There will also be a limited, clear vinyl LP version available at independent retailers as well as a limited, split brown & cream colored version exclusive to Vinyl Me Please.

Sirens Of The Ditch (Deluxe Reissue) Track Listing:
1. Brand New Kind Of Actress
2. Down In A Hole
3. Try
4. Chicago Promenade
5. Dress Blues
6. Grown
7. Hurricanes and Hand Grenades
8. In A Razor Town
9. Shotgun Wedding
10. The Magician
11. The Devil Is My Running Mate
12. Whisper (Previously Unreleased)
13. Crystal Clear (Previously Unreleased)
14. The Assassin (Previously Unreleased)
15. Racetrack Romeo (Previously Unreleased)

Gregg Allman’s Swan Song recorded at FAME Recording Studios

Find out more about Gregg Allman’s decision to record at FAME Recording Studios in this excerpt taken from Gregg’s website. To read the full article and listen to the album, click here.

“ A further key to Allman’s vision for Southern Blood was his decision to record at the world-renowned FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. Alongside its own fabled history, the legendary studio occupied a momentous place in Allman’s personal back pages.

“A constant discussion during all of my nearly 15 years working with Gregg was his desire to return to Muscle Shoals,” Lehman says. “He always would talk about how he needed to get back to FAME Studios to bring him full circle.”

“Muscle Shoals is hallowed musical ground,” says Was. “FAME was the place where Gregg’s brother Duane first started making waves in the music world and where the earliest seeds of The Allman Brothers Band were sown in a back room during their first, seminal rehearsals. Duane’s presence is still ubiquitous in that building. Recording there was Gregg’s way of making his spirit a part of this album, in the same way that his spirit continued to be part of Gregg’s life.”

Hear producer Don Was talk about recording with Gregg at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in this sneak peak of the documentary, “Back To The Swamp: The Recording of Southern Blood”.”

Part of legendary Blind Boys of Alabama’s “Almost Home” album recorded at FAME Recording Studios

In the seven decades since the Blind Boys of Alabama first began singing together, America has witnessed a World War, the civil rights movement, and the Summer of Love; the moon landing, Vietnam, and the fall of the Berlin Wall; JFK, MLK, and Malcolm X; the invention of the jukebox, the atomic bomb, and the internet. Through it all, the Blind Boys’ music has not only endured, but thrived, helping both to define the sound of the American south and to push it forward through the 20th century and well on into the 21st. Praised by NPR as “pioneers,” the group has transcended barriers of race and genre to become one of the most acclaimed and celebrated groups in modern music. From the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, where the original members met as children, all the way to The White House – where they’ve performed for three different presidents – the band’s story is, in many ways, America’s story, and that story is at the heart of their emotional new album, ‘Almost Home.’

Recorded over four different sessions helmed by four different GRAMMY-winning producers in four different cities, ‘Almost Home’ recounts the band’s remarkable journey, primarily through original songs written for them by an outstanding collection of artists including Valerie June, the North Mississippi Allstars, Phil Cook, John Leventhal, Marc Cohn, and Ruthie Foster among others. The record blends the sacred and secular, the traditional and innovative, the past and present.

‘Almost Home’ grew out of the recognition that the band’s original lineup is down to just two remaining survivors: long-time group leader Clarence Fountain and current leader Jimmy Carter. Both men were born in Alabama during the Great Depression, and while Carter is still active and regularly touring with the group, Fountain’s health precludes him from traveling much these days, though he does appear on the album.

The album opens with the captivating “Stay On The Gospel Side,” which sets the stage perfectly as it traces Fountain’s roots all the way back to childhood and recounts the band’s insistence on remaining true to their origins. Written by John Leventhal and Marc Cohn (with an additional credit to Fountain, since the title came from his exact words), the track is one of a trio of songs produced by Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, William Bell) and recorded in New York City, and it showcases the stunning range of joy and pain contained in the group’s beautifully weathered voices. On “Pray For Peace,” which is the Blind Boys’ version of a song submitted by the North Mississippi Allstars and recorded in Nashville with producer Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White), the group offer up a foot-stomping, electrifying gospel blues for our troubled times. Meanwhile, the Cris Jacobs’-penned “I Kept On Walking,” recorded at FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals with Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin (Faith No More, Buckwheat Zydeco) producing, is a rave-up about persistence and resilience in the face of struggle and doubt, and the folky “Train Fare,” written by Valerie June and recorded in Seattle with long-time Blind Boys producer Chris Goldsmith (Charlie Musselwhite, Ben Harper), looks back on all the good works of the band’s career as their ticket to the afterlife.

Given the age of the surviving original members, it’s not hard to hear the subtext of the album. In lines like “my work is done and I’m finally going home to see my maker,” the band acknowledges that they’re closer to the end than the beginning. But rather than resting on their laurels, they’re adding a new chapter to their legacy, creating some of the finest work of their career as they solidify their place not just in musical history, but in the very fabric of American culture. The original members of the Blind Boys of Alabama may be ‘Almost Home,’ but it’s clear they intend to keep on singing, spreading peace, joy, and love until the very last note.

James LeBlanc

James LeBlanc was born and raised in Shreveport Louisiana. He has been playing since his Dad taught him to play as a toddler. In his teen years James started writing songs and playing in local bands. Over the years his following began to grow to include other songwriter’s and musicians. In 1995 one of these musician friends sent son of James’ songs to Rodney Hall at Fame Publishing.

After two years of staying in close touch with the FAME staff, James was signed to FAME Publishing’s, House of Fame branch. Since that time James has fast become one of the hottest songwriters around garnering cuts on artists such as Rascal Flatts(3), Martina McBride, Travis Tritt(2), Joe Diffie, Sara Evans, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Heartland and Cyndi Thompson(2). In late 2000 James relocated to Muscle Shoals, Alabama where has continued to pursue his livelong music habit. James first hit single was released on Travis Tritt.

The song is entitled “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde. The song garnered James his first top 10 single and ASCAP award for One of the Most Performed Songs of the Year. More Recently James has landed the title cut on Platinum artist Jason Aldean, as well as two cuts on Gary Allan’s forthcoming project. James also recently signed to FAME Records and will be releasing his next cd this fall. As an artist James released a singer/songwriter cd titled “Muscle Shoals City Limits” in 2003. The CD garnered widespread critical Acclaim throughout the music industry.

Gary Nichols

For the past half-century, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has produced some of the finest musicians of our day. From W.C. Handy to Percy Sledge and the immortal Muscle Shoals Rhythm Sections otherwise known as “The Swampers”, Muscle Shoals has always been a hotbed of talent.

Gary Nichols is the next in line of the great Muscle Shoals songwriting performers. Even though he is only 30 years old Gary has been playing professionally for nearly 20 years. The hotshot instrumentalist, singing wonder and songwriting champ fits the classic definition of a “guitar slinger,” but he’s no novice.

This is a role he was born to play. Gary has been playing guitar and singing since the age of 6. As a teenager, Gary played with his uncle Larry Condrey, who subbed on gigs for the legendary Muscle Shoals guitar great Travis Wammack.

Angela Hacker

I am a proud mother of the most awesome son. I have amazing family and friends in my life and I am so blessed to have them.

Music is my passion. It has always been a huge part of my life. Being surrounded by my family who were all singers and musicians, my brother, sisters and I were born with the love for music. I wrote my first song at the age of 10. At the age of 13 I won my first school talent show and I was hooked.

I am so lucky to be able to do what I love. I have signed with Rick Hall at Fame Recording and Publishing Company in Muscle Shoals, Alabama as a writer. I have been fortunate to have written with some great writers such as, Billy Lawson, James Leblanc, Mercury Recording Artist Gary Nichols, James Slater, Kris Bergsnes and the late Ava Aldridge.

My style of Country, R&B and Rock and Roll has strongly been influenced by the Muscle Shoals Sound.

Jason Isbell

Here’s the story of the band name, because it’s a good story and deserves telling, and the telling says what needs finishing here. Jason begins, “There is a mental treatment facility here in Florence called The 400 Unit. About once a week they would drive downtown and take, I guess, the six or eight healthiest people in the facility and let ’em go downtown. Give ’em all like $15 apiece to go get some lunch. You’d immediately recognize who it was and why they were there; they all had nametags on, saying kinda strange stuff to everybody. And trying to get a sandwich at the same time.

“When I started thinking about a band, and how we get to a new town and everybody gets $15 and gets out of the van, goes out and tries to get a sandwich, it kinda reminded me of that.”

Yeah, it’s a sad record, but he’s laughing. And it’s a good sound, all around.

Dylan LeBlanc

Although the Golden era of Alabama’s fabled Muscle Shoals sound had passed by the time Dylan was born in 1990, his ancestral roots and family background connected him to one of the most significant sources in the rich tapestry of American music. His father’s position as a Muscle Shoals session player and songwriter meant that early in life Dylan was privy to the sights and sounds of an unvarnished, vanishing epoch and such legends as Spooner Oldham.

“I grew up around a lot of the session players… when I was 11 or 12, I would watch and ask a lot of questions, so for me it was like going to music college,” is how the tall, gentle voiced, lank haired Shreveport, Louisiana native remembers it. “It seemed like a much simpler world – it was romantic to me the way everyone sat in a circle and “took it from the top”. They just played and hit the record button.

That’s the path I followed when I made this album.” Dylan expands… “for me music is about getting together with a group of people who feel like family – you create a bond, feeding off each other. Just a look or a hand gesture and they know what you’re talking about.” Dylan’s progress was natural, organic – learning the ropes as a young sideman helped define his own worldview and artistry through his teens.