Opening September 27th, director Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier’s riveting documentary, Muscle Shoals, explores the Alabama town that became a musical mecca in the 60’s and 70’s and an unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative music. At its heart is Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios who created the distinctive Muscle Shoals sound, and The Swampers, the legendary rhythm section at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Through archival footage and interviews with Aretha Franklin, Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Jimmy Cliff, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, and others, Camalier tells the story behind Muscle Shoals’ enduring magnetism, mystery and influence.
In an exclusive interview, Camalier revealed how a 1700-mile road trip led to a fascinating film about a rural place in Alabama with a rich musical history, why Muscle Shoals attracted so many great artists, how he convinced them to share their personal memories of laying down tracks there, why it was a game changer for many careers, how it continues to be a musical influence today, what it was like bringing Rick Hall and The Swampers together again after so many years, and his plans for a narrative feature and a new documentary. Hit the jump to read the interview.