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Over the last four years or so, I have had the joy of working and writing with some great songwriters. Some were in Nashville , some from LA even Canada but I found most of my writing was done with songwriters from Muscle Shoals, AL.
See, I have a history with “The Shoals”. I grew up about 1.5 hours away in Cullman, AL –a small town. Heck, I didn’t even live in that small town I grew up 20 minutes west and in more of a community known as “White Oak.” When I was 16 my momma took me to the famous FAME studios where I met Roger Hawkins. He is a drummer and played on soooo many hit records like Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, etc. etc. and was the studio manager at the time.
So, fast forward 30 years later…I left Alabama and moved out west to Santa Fe , NM. I’ve lived in Santa Fe for just as long as I did in Alabama. I made a few records out there and had some of that music featured on some tv shows and films. It was back in 2013 or so and my friend and recording engineer, David Cragin took me and my husband to see the Muscle Shoals documentary.
My mouth dropped to the floor when I saw Roger and all the memories of my mom, him, me being 16 again came flooding back. Little did I know that would be a foreshadowing of what was to come and that music / songs would lead me back ‘home’.
But ‘home’ can sometimes be a hard place to come back to….
In 2015 , I started coming back to Nashville from Santa Fe to write. Back and forth until I suddenly found that I spent more time in Nashville than Santa Fe. I did a writer’s night in Nashville with Mark Narmore who just happened to be from the Shoals. I told him that we should write as I was from his neck o’ the woods…and boom he agreed. So we started writing– then he introduced me to Stephanie C Brown and she , well, she is the creative catalyst that welcomed me into the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Circle and she is the inspiration behind this new record.
Where it all started…
Back in January 2020 before the world went into lockdown, I was asked by Stephanie to go down to Muscle Shoals and record some demos for 3 songs that she and I had written. Well, those demos turned out to be much more than just demos. It was like we were capturing what The Shoals and the band who became known as “the Swampers” had become famous for all those years ago. They were better than demos and when we heard them back we knew we had captured something VERY , VERY special.
One thing 2020 didn’t do was it didn’t make me stop writing…heck, it made me write even more. I went back to Santa Fe to wait the storm out on the mountain top but I wrote with my friends from Muscle Shoals via Zoom for that entire year.
Now , all of us wanna pick up where we left off and get a record made.
Already we have 10 songs ‘in the can’ as far as the musical tracks . 3 are completely finished with my vocals. Now I just need to record my vocals for 7 more songs, mix them , master them and get them reproduced on vinyl and CDs.
I have always had a hard time asking for money in order to do art…but this is another step for me in a new direction (asking) and I have to do this in order to get this project completed.
As of September 3rd, this project has raised $5,500 of their $4,997 goal. This project has 4 days left to raise as much as it can. For a pledge of $15, you will get one album digital download. For a pledge of $25, you will get one signed CD. To learn more and to pledge money, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cocooconnor/coco-oconnors-new-muscle-shoals-lp?