What is the Muscle Shoals Sound?
It's hard to say really. They call it a sound, but in truth...it's a feel. It's an emotion that runs like water down your spine all the way to your toes. The notes come in different shapes and colors as they float across the space in between us. Whether it be raw and dirty guitars, raspy emotional vocals, an exciting dance between brass and woodwinds that dot the I's and cross the T's, or the snare drum! Oh my goodness this deep, powerful, almost imperceptibly behind the beat snare that creates a pocket like a deep black hole that just sucks you into the groove. A beat that is impossible to ignore. OR! Maybe it's a lyric. Maybe it's a lyric that you just can't deny that hits you squarely in the face as you realize, "I lived that."
It isn't JUST a soulful sound anymore coming out of the Shoals, although you'd be hard pressed to hear any music from the area that doesn't have at least a little touch of soul. The Shoals has become a breeding ground for all kinds of different sounds and flavors as more and more talent emerges. Do you really want to know what the Muscle Shoals Sound is? Explore the venues. Visit Swampers inside the Marriot. Have a weekend stroll through downtown Florence and listen to the sounds floating out of open doors in the summer time. Go to a "First Friday" and watch the bands on Mobile Street. Experience the lifestyle here in the Shoals area....and then you'll connect with the sound. It's a way of life. It's in the way we write, the way we move, the way we perform, and the way we appreciate all genres of music and other performers. The love for music is embedded in the history and hearts of the residents and it comes forth in every recording.
They claim it's something in the water. Something about that singing river. I have to agree. Come on in, the water's fine!