The Muscle Shoals All Stars
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The Muscle Shoals All Stars

Muscle Shoals, Alabama, United States | INDIE

Muscle Shoals, Alabama, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Blues

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"Best Bets"

A CD release party for Scott Ward will be Saturday at the Trojan House in Muscle Shoals.

- Florence Times Daily


"Best Bets"

A CD release party for Scott Ward will be Saturday at the Trojan House in Muscle Shoals.

- Florence Times Daily


"Band Releases Tribute to Muscle Shoals"

Scott Ward has been a fan of Muscle Shoals music for years. But it wasn’t until he started visiting the area about 10 years ago and met local players and songwriters that he really began to learn what Muscle Shoals music is all about.

“I started going to Muscle Shoals to try and start getting something going,” said Ward, a 47-year-old bassist and guitarist from Gadsden. “David Hood invited me to come hear The Decoys.”

The admiration has led Ward to recording an album that pays tribute to the area’s music and those behind the scenes, many of whom still live in the area.
Ward said he spent some time trying to break into the Nashville music scene, but nothing materialized.

“When I came to Muscle Shoals, it had more of a feeling of camaraderie,” Ward said. “There was just a laid back feeling.”

Ward said he’s a fan of the Rolling Stones, Bob Seger and Julian Lennon tracks recorded in the Shoals. Ward said he wanted to get the same inspiration Lennon got watching the Tennessee River roll by when he recorded “Valotte” at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios on Alabama Avenue in Sheffield.

Ward said he met legendary songwriter Peanutt Montgomery while he was checking out a guitar at Sonny’s Pawn Shop in downtown Sheffield. The owner introduced them and they became friends.

“Peanutt and Max Russell really befriended me,” Ward said. “All the people I met led to what I’m doing now.”

Montgomery has penned many songs, most notably for legendary country artist George Jones, while Russell is a Shoals blues/rockabilly artist.

Ward’s album — “Muscle Shoals Down Through Decatur” — is a collection of songs by Muscle Shoals artists and artists with a connection to the Shoals, like the Drive-By Truckers.

“The Truckers let us do “George Jones Talking Cell Phone Blues,” Ward said. “That got us a lot of attention.”

The album features tracks by Montgomery, Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn, Bob Killen, Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall, who was born in Birmingham and raised in Mobile, Johnny Wycker, Walt Aldridge and Cullman songwriter Tommy York.
Ward said he met Oldham in 2009 and admired his work with Gram Parsons, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. He called Oldham “one of my heroes.”

“I did (the recording) basically as a tribute to Muscle Shoals,” Ward said. “It’s kind of a blend of everything, blues and country rock.”

Oldham played keyboard on the album, which features York on acoustic and electric guitar, organ and vocals; Ken Beasley and Jackie Blevins on drums; Brad Guin on saxophone; Terry Waters on pedal steel guitar; Jeff Ford on guitar; Ruth Ann Speegle on vocals; and Ward on bass and acoustic guitar.

The album was produced by York and recorded between May 2010 and May 2011 at York’s 48 West recording studio in Cullman. The album was released in June.

“We finally got a distribution deal to have it in f.y.e. stores,” Ward said of the national chain of record stores that has eight facilities in Alabama. The album is available locally at Pegasus Records in Florence.

York, who recorded an album in Muscle Shoals in 1976 at David Johnson’s Broadway Recording Studio, said he met Ward during a songwriter’s showcase at the Trojan House in Muscle Shoals.

The first thing York did when Ward came to him with the project is listen to all the original versions of the songs.

“I decided I wanted to try and get as close to the original as possible,” York said.
York said he brought in the additional musicians to complement York’s band, which includes Beasley, a high school teacher, and Ford, a criminal defense attorney from Anniston.

“They’re an eclectic group of folks,” York said.

In addition to playing on the album, York engineered, mixed and mastered the project at 48 West.

“All the songwriters we recorded on Scott’s project have been really supportive of the way they came out and are proud of them,” York said. “Every one of them voiced that opinion.”

Ward said he has played some of the tracks during appearan - Florence Times Daily


"Band Releases Tribute to Muscle Shoals"

Scott Ward has been a fan of Muscle Shoals music for years. But it wasn’t until he started visiting the area about 10 years ago and met local players and songwriters that he really began to learn what Muscle Shoals music is all about.

“I started going to Muscle Shoals to try and start getting something going,” said Ward, a 47-year-old bassist and guitarist from Gadsden. “David Hood invited me to come hear The Decoys.”

The admiration has led Ward to recording an album that pays tribute to the area’s music and those behind the scenes, many of whom still live in the area.
Ward said he spent some time trying to break into the Nashville music scene, but nothing materialized.

“When I came to Muscle Shoals, it had more of a feeling of camaraderie,” Ward said. “There was just a laid back feeling.”

Ward said he’s a fan of the Rolling Stones, Bob Seger and Julian Lennon tracks recorded in the Shoals. Ward said he wanted to get the same inspiration Lennon got watching the Tennessee River roll by when he recorded “Valotte” at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios on Alabama Avenue in Sheffield.

Ward said he met legendary songwriter Peanutt Montgomery while he was checking out a guitar at Sonny’s Pawn Shop in downtown Sheffield. The owner introduced them and they became friends.

“Peanutt and Max Russell really befriended me,” Ward said. “All the people I met led to what I’m doing now.”

Montgomery has penned many songs, most notably for legendary country artist George Jones, while Russell is a Shoals blues/rockabilly artist.

Ward’s album — “Muscle Shoals Down Through Decatur” — is a collection of songs by Muscle Shoals artists and artists with a connection to the Shoals, like the Drive-By Truckers.

“The Truckers let us do “George Jones Talking Cell Phone Blues,” Ward said. “That got us a lot of attention.”

The album features tracks by Montgomery, Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn, Bob Killen, Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall, who was born in Birmingham and raised in Mobile, Johnny Wycker, Walt Aldridge and Cullman songwriter Tommy York.
Ward said he met Oldham in 2009 and admired his work with Gram Parsons, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. He called Oldham “one of my heroes.”

“I did (the recording) basically as a tribute to Muscle Shoals,” Ward said. “It’s kind of a blend of everything, blues and country rock.”

Oldham played keyboard on the album, which features York on acoustic and electric guitar, organ and vocals; Ken Beasley and Jackie Blevins on drums; Brad Guin on saxophone; Terry Waters on pedal steel guitar; Jeff Ford on guitar; Ruth Ann Speegle on vocals; and Ward on bass and acoustic guitar.

The album was produced by York and recorded between May 2010 and May 2011 at York’s 48 West recording studio in Cullman. The album was released in June.

“We finally got a distribution deal to have it in f.y.e. stores,” Ward said of the national chain of record stores that has eight facilities in Alabama. The album is available locally at Pegasus Records in Florence.

York, who recorded an album in Muscle Shoals in 1976 at David Johnson’s Broadway Recording Studio, said he met Ward during a songwriter’s showcase at the Trojan House in Muscle Shoals.

The first thing York did when Ward came to him with the project is listen to all the original versions of the songs.

“I decided I wanted to try and get as close to the original as possible,” York said.
York said he brought in the additional musicians to complement York’s band, which includes Beasley, a high school teacher, and Ford, a criminal defense attorney from Anniston.

“They’re an eclectic group of folks,” York said.

In addition to playing on the album, York engineered, mixed and mastered the project at 48 West.

“All the songwriters we recorded on Scott’s project have been really supportive of the way they came out and are proud of them,” York said. “Every one of them voiced that opinion.”

Ward said he has played some of the tracks during appearan - Florence Times Daily


"CD Reviews"

"Scott Ward Band, has released "Muscle Shoals Through Decatur" (Lucky Dog Records) with it's well chosen 11 tracks. The Scott Ward Band is on the leading edge of the music revival going on in Muscle Shoals. The songs are all written by Shoals greats. They are joined by Spooner Oldham on keyboards. I count Scott as a friend and appreciate his tireless effort in bringing great music to the masses. The last time we communicated, he told me that he is working on a new project with Johnny Wyker. Available at Pegasus Records in Florence, Criminal Records in Atlanta, Cosmic Debris Records in Anniston, and FYE Stores in Gadsden, Decatur, Mobile, Birmingham, and Hot Springs, Arkansas." Jerry Henry, Alabama Music Office - The Tannehill Trader


"CD Reviews"

"Scott Ward Band, has released "Muscle Shoals Through Decatur" (Lucky Dog Records) with it's well chosen 11 tracks. The Scott Ward Band is on the leading edge of the music revival going on in Muscle Shoals. The songs are all written by Shoals greats. They are joined by Spooner Oldham on keyboards. I count Scott as a friend and appreciate his tireless effort in bringing great music to the masses. The last time we communicated, he told me that he is working on a new project with Johnny Wyker. Available at Pegasus Records in Florence, Criminal Records in Atlanta, Cosmic Debris Records in Anniston, and FYE Stores in Gadsden, Decatur, Mobile, Birmingham, and Hot Springs, Arkansas." Jerry Henry, Alabama Music Office - The Tannehill Trader


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Scott Ward has been playing in bands since 1986 and has worked with Steve Cropper, Jimmy Hall, Bonnie Bramlett, Bill Cunningham and Gary Talley of The Box Tops, Shonna Tucker, Spooner Oldham, David Hood, Donnie Fritts, Billy Earheart of the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery, Kelvin Holly, Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knopfler), Chad Gamble (Jason Isbell), Bryan Owings, Christine Ohlman of The Saturday Night Live Band, Ralph "Soul" Jackson, and many other great artists and musicians,

Band Members