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The Legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section/The Swampers: David Hood & Jimmy Johnson and Special Guests The Decoys, Spooner Oldham, Will McFarlane and Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux


"Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
And they've been known to pick a song or two
Lord they get me off so much
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue
Now how about you?"

The legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section aka The Swampers was immortalized in those lines from "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their recording sessions will live on forever in more than 100 hits by The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Bob Seger, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers, Elton John, Julian Lennon and more.

The four session players; David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Beckett and Roger Hawkins, created the Muscle Shoals Sound and eventually left FAME recording studio to found their own Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, a few miles away in Sheffield, Alabama.

David Hood & Jimmy Johnson will be joined on stage by members of their Muscle Shoals recording family; Spooner Oldham, Will McFarlane & Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux, all backed by The Decoys.

David Hood continues to lay down impressive bass grooves in recording sessions all over the world, as well as regular stints touring with his band, The Decoys.

Jimmy Johnson produced the first recordings by Lynyrd Skynyrd and is still very active as a producer and guitarist.

Roger Hawkins still resides in The Shoals area of Alabama, and is known to do a session or two or three, when David & Jimmy coax him out of retirement. And though Barry Beckett passed away in 2009 from natural causes, his keys are still heard on hit recordings all over the world.

Spooner Oldham
Muscle Shoals keyboard player and songwriter. Dewey Lindon "Spooner" Oldham is an American songwriter and session musician. An organist, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and at FAME Studios on such hit R&B songs as "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge, "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett and "I Never Loved a Man" by Aretha Franklin.

As a songwriter, Spooner Oldham teamed with Dan Penn to write such hits as "Cry Like a Baby" (The Box Tops), "I'm Your Puppet" (James and Bobby Purify), "A Woman Left Lonely" and "It Tears Me Up" (Percy Sledge). Spooner Oldham was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux
Donna Jean started her career singing backup for Elvis and Cher. Her adventurous nature and stellar voice led her to California, where she became a longtime member of the Grateful Dead.

Today, she is actively touring with her solo project; Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson and her latest song can be heard on the link above. Donna Jean was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Will McFarlane
A celebrated touring and session guitarist, Will McFarlane played with Bonnie Raitt until leaving amicably to move to Muscle Shoals. He has played on records for Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Etta James and Johnnie Taylor as part of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

The Decoys
David Hood continues to tour with his band the Decoys, which was formed almost twenty years ago by veteran record producer, Johnny Sandlin (The Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Delbert McClinton). The band recorded their debut CD, entitled "Shot From The Saddle", at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and recently toured Japan with Donnie Fritts.

The Decoys are Kelvin Holly, NC Thurman, Scott Boyer, Mike Dillon and David Hood.

A celebrated documentary about the history of The Muscle Shoals Sound & how it was created, will be screened twice during the SXSW Film Festival at the Paramount theatre on Tuesday the 12th & Wednesday the 13th at 11am:

*A Panel Discussion about the creation of The Muscle Shoals Sound and how it has evolved, will take place on March 14, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center in room 17A from 2 to 3pm.

David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Spooner Oldham, Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux and Shonna Tucker will be on the panel, with Holly George-Warren moderating.