Short Takes: “Muscle Shoals”

Muscle Shoals


By pure serendipity, filmmaker Greg Camalier ended up late one night in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, whose FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound studios were longtime meccas for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Otis Redding, the Stones, and Bob Dylan. Moved by the place, Camalier spent three-plus years collecting footage and interviewing local musicians and stars like Bono and Mick Jagger about the iconic studios. While Muscle Shoals can’t match the quality of The Last Waltz or PBS’s The Blues, the film offers a reverent and infectious glimpse into a town and culture responsible for some of the finest R&B, soul, and rock and roll ever recorded.

This review originally appeared in our November/December issue of Mother Jones.