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New album spotlights ‘Muscle Shoals sound’

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (AP) — A new album will throw a spotlight on the famed “Muscle Shoals sound” that made a north Alabama town one of the nation’s premier recording venues.

Performers including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and country singers Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and Willie Nelson have tracks on the upcoming “Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound.”

A statement from the German music company BMG said the album is being released Sept. 28 in collaboration with The Muscle Shoals Music Group and Dreamlined Entertainment.

Muscle Shoals became a recording hotbed after producer Rick Hall began FAME Recording Studios in 1959. Some of biggest stars in music, including Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynrd, recorded in the town.

Hall died in January, and the album is being released partly in tribute to his work. It also marks the 60th anniversary of the “Muscle Shoals sound.”

Many artists featured on the new album recorded tracks at FAME Studios that recreate hits first recorded in Muscle Shoals. That includes Tyler’s version of the Stones’ hit “Brown Sugar,” which is featured in a promotional video about the album.

Rick Hall’s son, Rodney Hall, curated music and served as executive producer for the album with Dreamlined Entertainment founder Keith Stegall.

“This record has been a full circle for me,” Stegall said in the statement. “It’s the music I grew up on and that impassioned me to become a writer and a record producer and the music to which I owe my love and deepest respect.”

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