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The Muscle Shoals Recordings by The SteelDrivers

The Muscle Shoals Recordings by The SteelDrivers

Album Review

The SteelDrivers are a Nashville-based bluegrass band whose members aren’t afraid to highlight the blues and R&B influences in their music, so it makes sense that they’d want to record in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the city that produced some of the greatest soul music of the ’60s and ’70s, including major hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, and Solomon Burke. Apparently, working under the belief that there is something in the water in Colbert County, the SteelDrivers booked time at NuttHouse Recording Studio in nearby Sheffield, Alabama, and The Muscle Shoals Recordings is the fruit of those sessions. If the title were meant to suggest to fans that this was the SteelDrivers’ homage to classic soul music, well, that’s not how the finished product plays. Where there’s an honestly soulful undertow to songs like “Drinkin’ Alone,” “Here She Goes,” and “Day Before Temptation,” The Muscle Shoals Recordings is a straightforward bluegrass set that walks a tightrope between traditional and progressive styles, but doesn’t make much effort to break new stylistic ground. Of course, that’s criticizing The Muscle…

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