In taking on a tune by the great Sam Cooke, Amy Black dives into a joyous vocal performance and a goofy character to really "Bring It On Home".
Alabama's famed Muscle Shoals has long been a goldmine for the recording of great music, particularly in the Americana, blues, and roots genres. For Amy Black, her ties to the town are more personal, as both of her parents were born there. In channeling both her own past with Muscle Shoals and her love for gospel, roots, and R&B, Black took to the town's FAME Studios to record The Muscle Shoals Sessions, her third solo outing, drawing from legendary sources of inspiration such as Etta James, Mavis Staples, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin. Another key tribute on the album is a cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me", the fun and goofy video of which you can view below.
In the press release for The Muscle Shoals Sessions, Black says, "Making this music has changed me as an artist. It’s altered my musical course and I’m so glad." One viewing of "Bring It On Home to Me" and it's easy to see that she's right on the money.
Black tells PopMatters about her choice of "Bring It On Home to Me": "When selecting songs for The Muscle Shoals Sessions album, I stumbled on a very funky interpretation of Sam Cooke's 'Bring It On Home to Me', recorded by Lou Rawls in Muscle Shoals a decade after the original. This version is a blast to perform live. I brought that energy to the video, and resurrected a special character who came to life several Halloween's ago. Her name is Grandma Gertie; she's from Waterloo, Alabama, carries Moonpies in her pockets, loves her sweetheart, and has to 'shake that thang' when she hears a killer groove."
The Muscle Shoals Sessions is out on 9 June via Rueben Records.
Upcoming tour dates for Amy Black:
12-13 June -- Somerville, MA -- Johnny D's -- Album Release
19 June -- Burlington, VT -- The Skinny Pancake
25 June -- New York, NY -- Rockwood Music Hall
26 June -- New Haven, CT -- Cafe Nine
3 July -- Goshen, IN -- First Friday Concerts
4 July -- Berwyn, IL -- Fitzgerald's American Music Festival
5 July -- Benton, MI -- The Livery
7 July -- Worthington, OH -- Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza
8 July -- Cleveland, OH -- Beachland Ballroom Tavern
9 July -- Newport, KY -- Southgate House
10 July -- St. Louis, MO -- The Stage @ KDHX
11 July -- Kansas City, MO -- Knuckleheads
14 July -- Clarksdale, MS -- Rust
15 July -- Clarksdale, MS -- Ground Zero Blues Club
18 July -- Brownsville, TN -- Summer Jamz
18 July -- Tupelo, MS -- Blue Canoe
23 July -- Nashville, TN -- The Bluebird Cafe
24 July -- Duluth, GA -- Red Clay Music Foundry - Eddie Owen Presents
25 July -- Birmingham, AL -- Workplay
28 July -- Thomas, WV -- The Purple Fiddle
30 July -- Ashland, VA -- Ashland Coffee & Tea
31 July -- Philadelphia, PA -- World Cafe Live
2 August -- Washington, DC -- Gypsy Sally's
5 August -- Asbury Park, NJ -- The Saint
6 August -- Annapolis, MD -- Ram's Head On Stage
21 August -- Northampton, MA -- Iron Horse Music Hall
22 August -- Newburyport, MA -- The Firehouse Center for the Arts
23 August -- Collinsville, CT -- Bridge Street Live
27 August -- Pawling, NY -- Daryl's House
28 August -- Fall River, MA -- Narrows Center For the Arts
29 August -- Nashua, NH -- Riverwalk Cafe
25 September -- Dallas, TX -- Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse
26 September -- Austin, TX -- Strange Brew
27 September -- Houston -- Mucky Duck