The Muscle Shoals "Swampers"...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ZenG, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Probably the must unsung unheard of session men in rock history.

    I'll bet a good portion of the listening public thought they were all funky black dudes playing.....not four average rural white guys. ( And I don't imply anything racist at all by that statement).

    You could say they were funk before funk was cool in many respects. They came up with a lot of funky riffs in their time.

    You probably heard them play on lots of records and never realized who they were, where they were from or how they got to be in the studio at all.

    Independent Lens had a good doc on them that I watched the other day. Very good. Recommended.

    Feel free to post any info you have on these guys and Rick Hall.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  2. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    They've been known to pick a song or two
    bobba66, yodedude2, physics and 6 others like this.
  4. Ballin'bass


    Jun 16, 2014
    Madison, WI
    The documentary on the swampers is amazing. Great watch. Check it out sometime if you haven't already.
    zontar, ExaltBass and JimK like this.
  5. BigBobbyBass


    Jan 23, 2015
    Man, that doc is fantastic.
  6. bass12

    bass12 Blistering barnacles! Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Probably my favourite sound from that era.
    Ballin'bass likes this.
  7. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Beautiful documentary, a true gem, does justice to the amazing musicians who were featured.
  8. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Yep, just watched it recently, I'll admit, I had no idea.
    Ballin'bass likes this.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...always thought Hood/Hawkins stint with Traffic as...odd?
    bassbrad likes this.
  10. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Folks gotta make a living...
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    True...just thinking a "better" situation woulda been in the road band with Aretha, Wilson Pickett, etc.

    Also, I have read about many sessioneers losing $ when they took road gigs.
    TomB likes this.
  12. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I saw that version of Traffic with Free as the opening band, I thought it was a great show.
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  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For a fun day watch"Muscle Shoals", "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" and "The Wrecking Crew" in one day. Now that's a lot of music history in one day.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
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  14. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    A good friend (and still band mate) of mine toured with Wilson Pickett. I have it from him that his backing band got the same money on tour as for club gigs - meaning not all that great. That was pretty much the case on that whole circuit. Though I can't quote sources, it's very likely the British Invasion bands charged promoters more and paid musicians better than American R&B band leaders. For those British promoters, hiring local US guns was surely less expensive than exporting a British rythm section. This is similar to the way US blues artists have always toured Europe and Asia - and many still do today. There are always lots of talented rythm players and blues fanatics overseas who are willing to back them on the road for much less money than carting an American on tour.'s the way it was and still is!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  15. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    I did too (Long, long ago...). Nothing wrong with the lineup at all. Low Spark was killer.
    10cc and physics like this.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Anyone curious...this version of Traffic can be heard on On The Road (live album from 1973).
  17. joeaba


    Aug 20, 2015
    Before watching the documentary, I thought a lot of the songs were motown. For some reason, I was glad to hear they weren't. It proves that music creation has no boundaries. IMO this documentary was put together very well. Definitely worth watching for anyone interested in music history.
    Fab Superlative and 10cc like this.
  18. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    One of the best music docs I've seen in quite a long time. So much music I had no idea came out of these little joints down there. Amazing stuff.
  19. physics


    Aug 7, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    Hood and Hawkins with Rebop Kwaku Baah did a concert with Traffic at Santa Monica in 1972 that was really nice. I especially liked the styles of Winwood and Hood, Hood being so smooth and fluid on his bass.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    From what I read, it depended on the situation - studio sessions generally paid better, but if there were none (or if they had a certain desire to play with a certain artist), they would hit the road. Any way to make a buck.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 16, 2021

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