When a recording studio as iconic as FAME — Florence Alabama Music Enterprises, in Muscle Shoals Alabama — hits its 60th anniversary, it’s certifiably A Pretty Big Deal™ … and Steven Tyler knows it.
Last April, he took a break from his solo tour to lay down a tune at the historic studio, to be included in a compilation entitled Muscle Shoals … Small Town, Big Sound — and the track is one of the studio’s most legendary productions, The Rolling Stones‘ Brown Sugar. It was originally recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio by The World’s Greatest Rock And Roll Band in late 1969, for their Sticky Fingers album. Tyler was joined by ex-Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, a good old gospel trio, and some FAME studio regulars on piano and brass. According to an insider, it was captured in the same room once used by one of Tyler’s big influences, Little Richard.
“We knew we wanted to respect and pay homage to the original version, but we also dared ourselves to make it our own,” says The Demon Of Screamin’. “I had no idea the vibes I would feel being in those rooms at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. So much more than an era was created there. These songs are the soundtrack of people’s lives. A world that could never be lived again.”
Along with the 60th birthday of the studio, Muscle Shoals … Small Town, Big Sound recognizes the legacy of its late cofounder Rick Hall. The Father Of The Muscle Shoals Sound passed away in January, and his son Rodney Hall produced and curated the album alongside Keith Stegall. The set will be available Friday September 28, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Grammy Foundation and other outfits which support Muscle Shoals’ musical history.
1. Keb’ Mo’ – “The Road Of Love,”
2. Grace Potter – “I’d Rather Go Blind”
3. Steven Tyler & Nuno Bettencourt – “Brown Sugar”
4. Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton & Lee Ann Womack – “Gotta Serve Somebody”
5. Eli “Paperboy” Reed – “Steal Away”
6. Kid Rock – “Snatching It Back”
7. Aloe Blacc – “I’ll Take You There”
8. Michael McDonald – “Cry Like A Rainy Day”
9. Vince Gill & Wendy Moten – “True Love”
10. Alison Krauss – “Come And Go Blues”
11. Mike Farris with The Blind Boys of Alabama – “Respect Yourself”
12. Alan Jackson – “Wild Horses”
13. Brently Stephen Smith of Shinedown – “Mustang Sally”
14. Chord Overstreet – “We’ve Got Tonight”
15. Tom Johnston & Delbert McClinton – “Giving It Up For Your Love”
16. Candi Staton with Jason Isbell & John Paul White – “I Ain’t Easy To Love”