The Music of Muscle Shoals, Alabama Socked it to Me!

Amy Black, a Boston-based singer-songwriter who I’ve seen perform several times, assembled a number of other Boston-based musicians for an evening called “Sock It To Me”, a celebration of the musical heritage of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, at Atwood’s Tavern.


I knew about Muscle Shoals, but didn’t realize how many amazing musicians had recorded there. 

Musicians I never thought of – The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan, to name a few – all recorded there. So did the obvious ones – Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Secret Sisters, and Etta James.

The show was very well organized, and flowed smoothly. Amy took the stage and did several numbers with a fabulous backing band that was billed as the Camberville Swampers.  I liked the format of the show – Amy sang a few songs, then ceded the stage to Susan Cattaneo who I’d never seen. She belted out a few songs, including one of my favorites, ‘The First Cut is the Deepest” (written by Cat Stevens/Yusuf, one of my all-time favorites).  I’ll be looking to see her again.

Amy Black

Amy Black

Susan Cattaneo

Susan Cattaneo

Amy took the stage again for a few numbers, then gave it to Jesse Dee. I’d heard only excellent buzz about Jesse and I was awed by his talent. What a voice! I closed my eyes a couple of times and was transported back to the 60s. I’m already sorry that I have a conflict for an upcoming show at The Sinclair but you can be sure I’ll see him in a headlining show as soon as possible.

Jesse Dee

Jesse Dee

After Amy sang a few more songs, including the only original song of the evening, Sarah Borges took the stage. I had seen her once and enjoyed her, so I was looking forward to hearing her perform again as the headliner (as Amy referred to her).

Sarah Borges

Sarah Borges

Sarah has a lovely voice and a polished stage presence. She’s also very funny!

The Camberville Swampers are excellent musicians! Mike Piehl on drums, Bruce Mattson on keyboards, Jim Haggerty on bass, and Jim Scoppa on guitar were very tight. I don’t know if they play together regularly, but they should! Jim Scoppa had a number of guitar solos that were very much appreciated by the audience. Apologies to Mike, Bruce, and Jim H. – I couldn’t get any decent shots of you…

Jim Scoppa

Jim Scoppa

For the last three songs, all the singers took the stage which had been barely big enough for the four instrumentalists plus one singer! They sang in harmony and in solos, each singer taking one verse of a song. They ended the evening with a fabulous version of “Mustang Sally”, another one of my favorite songs.


I hope Amy organizes another Muscle Shoals event like this one. Even if she chose the same song list, I’d see the show again!  There wasn’t a weak link in the show.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on December 9, 2013, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great review. I was at the show and say the review was dead on. Looking forward to a Boston does Muscle Shoals II.

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