Saturday, April 26, 2014

Alabama Music

The PBS series, Independent Lens showed the documentary Muscle Shoals tonight.   If you have not seen this film, watch it as soon as you is a beautiful piece of work.  So many people, when you mention Alabama think of this state as a backwards third world country in the US.  But those people don't realize the creative gifts that our state has given the world, especially in music.

I watched this film tonight and thought this is why I live here,  the world knows the music that came out of Muscle Shoals, but honestly this state pulsates with musical is a life blood that flows from town to town......from churches to schools....from bars to coffee houses.  In the film they talk about how the music comes from the mud in the Tennessee River that flows through Muscle Shoals, but I believe it is more than that, much comes from the red clay, the hills, the pine trees, the comes from the sweat of coal miners and farmers....the religion that oozes from churches on every corner.....the DNA of Scotch  Irish descendants and African slaves.

Muscle Shoals is the pinnacle, but the musical talent that is in this state spreads from the sugar beaches on the Gulf of Mexico to the hills in the north.....and all points in between.  You can go to any school or church and hear voices that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. River banks, family reunions, bars and front porches are all stages for the best music you can ever want to hear.

I use to laugh and tell my friends in other places that the humidity and tornadoes here caused a genetic mutant that created all these writers, singers, musicians and songwriters that live here.  Many of my friends say it's the alcohol and poverty, that might be true......but I do know that practically every family has a creative vein that runs through its bloodline here in Alabama.

Catch the film on your local PBS station, I think you will be surprised when you discover all the music
that has come from that one little Alabama, and if you ever visit us, you'll hear great music all across the state.

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