Film review: Muscle Shoals (PG)
Greg 'Freddy' Camalier, 111mins
Greg "Freddy" Camalier's fascinating doc tells the story of the Alabama recording studios where white musicians, most of whom looked like geography teachers, recorded classic blues, soul and R&B for artists ranging from Percy Sledge to Aretha Franklin and Jimmy Cliff. The Rolling Stones turned up there, too.
Camalier makes an excellent job of combining talking-head interviews with music, anecdotes and folklore. Presiding over the FAME studio is the stern, stubborn proprietor Rick Hall, driven to set up the business after tragedy in his own life.
Many of the interviewees speculate that the location, close to the Tennessee River, had some strange magic in it. There are references to the civil rights era and to the hippy vibe.
Locals expressed disbelief when Duane Allman turned up at the studio – and then watched, amazed, as he persuaded Wilson Pickett to record the Beatles' "Hey Jude".
There are feuds and break-ups in the story, but there is also an astonishing musical legacy.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts