When Muscle Shoals four-piece Belle Adair recorded their new album Tuscumbia they leaned into their hometown's musical legacy to create a sound unlike anything that's come out of The Shoals region before. Produced by longtime Wilco collaborator Tom Schick (Real Estate, Parquet Courts, Iron & Wine), Tuscumbia was tracked at the hallowed FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, home to legendary sessions by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Paul Simon, Duane Allman, and countless others, and mixed at The Loft, Wilco's home base in Chicago. The result doesn't so much update the Muscle Shoals sound as redefine it with chiming guitars, meditative lyrics and a breezy, blissed-out feel.
The eleven new songs on Tuscumbia were all written by frontman Matt Green, and the album marks a massive leap forward for a band that's already been praised by NPR for its "dreamy sound" and by SPIN for songs that "glow with a deep, dusky aura." Both grand and intimate, far-reaching and deeply personal, Tuscumbia is a definitive declaration of identity from a band that bucks tradition in search of their own personal truths.
While Belle Adair is rewriting what it means to be a band from Muscle Shoals, the group's ties to their local music community run deep. Keyboardist Ben Tanner and drummer Reed Watson run Single Lock Records, which has released music by Alabama artists like St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Dylan LeBlanc, Donnie Fritts and label co-founder / multi-Grammy winner John Paul White. In recent years, Belle Adair has also served as something of a house band to other Single Lock artists, backing White, Fritts and others on extensive tours.
Through this work, Belle Adair finds themselves at the center of one of the South's most thriving independent music scenes, building Muscle Shoals into an artistic beacon for a new generation.