Sunday, April 18, 2010

Brush With Greatness: David Hood (Redux)

I saw the Scott Boyer and The Decoys today at Birmingham's coolest annual event, the Garage Cafe's anniversary party. This time I had the opportunity to get my photograph taken with the man who is arguably the most influential Bassist in R&B and Rock History. He was part of some really memorable tracks, with his most famous lick probably on The Staple's "I'll Take You There" (find and click the link below to hear it)

(this was my earlier post about him)
David Hood is a bassist from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I met him backstage at the Scott Boyer Benefit in Birmingham, and have had the rare joy of seeing him play Bass with the Decoys a couple of times at the annual Garage Cafe anniversary party.

Click Here to get an idea why David Hood is a legend among Bass Players. Stay for the solo!!!

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as The Swampers, are a group of American soul, R&B, and country studio musicians based in the Alabama town of Muscle Shoals.

These musicians, one of the best-known groups of session musicians, crafted the "Muscle Shoals Sound."

Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records brought artists like Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to record with the all Caucasian group of Southern musicians after their success with Arthur Alexander and most notably on Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman". They originally worked at Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Florence, AL. In 1969, Beckett, Hawkins, Hood, and Johnson left Fame and started the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

In the 1970s, the Memphis, TN based Stax Records also began bringing artists down to Alabama. Johnnie Taylor had a long run of R&B hits with the group, and The Staple Singers had their greatest crossover successes with songs like "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself". Later, they were the sound behind Bob Seger hits such as Old Time Rock and Roll. Other artists who recorded with the Swampers include Rod Stewart, Elkie Brooks, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Glenn Frey, Jim Capaldi, Julian Lennon, Delbert McClinton, J.J. Cale, John Prine, Alice in Chains, Joe Tex, Bobby Blue Bland, Eddie Floyd, Clarence Carter, Little Milton, Sawyer Brown, Tony Joe White, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Staple Singers, and many more.

David's son, Patterson Hood is the frontman and one of three songwriters for Drive-By Truckers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As a session bassist and a member of the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (with Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, and Jimmy Johnson), David Hood is widely admired for his craftsmanship and versatility working with an astounding range of musicians in his 40-year career. Born on September 21, 1943, in Sheffield, AL, Hood played trombone in high school, becoming proficient on bass and guitar as well.

In 1969 the Fame house band began freelancing with producer Jerry Wexler at Atlantic's New York studio, cutting sides with Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and James Carr. With that promising track record the rhythm section left Fame that same year opening Muscle Shoals Sound in Sheffield as co-owners. Their move formally began the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section era. Dubbed "the Swampers" by Shelter Records' producer Denny Cordell and given public recognition as such in Lynyrd Skynrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," the MSRS was soon backing up a diverse range of artists at the new studio, including Cher, Laura Nyro, Linda Rondstadt, Lulu, Boz Scaggs, and Sam & Dave, and even working in some jazz time with Herbie Mann and future Bee Gees producer Arif Mardin on his Atlantic Records set Glass Onion (1970). Through the mid-'70s the rhythm section worked constantly, backing Rod Stewart, J.J. Cale, Bonnie Bramlett, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and Wendy Waldman. Hood also played bass on dozens of Stax recordings between 1970 and 1977, like the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There". The rhythm section joined Steve Winwood's re-formed Traffic in 1973, appearing on Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory and the live set On the Road. Paul Simon recorded There Goes Rhymin' Simon with the MSRS, and their collaboration on Still Crazy After All These Years earned Simon two Grammy Awards in 1975.

Muscle Shoals Sound was relocated to a larger facility in 1978, where during the 1980s Hood anchored tracks by James Brown, Glenn Frey, Levon Helm, Dr. Hook, Joan Baez, Jerry Jeff Walker, Carlos Santana, Lou Ann Barton, and Julian Lennon. In the late 1970s, Hood played on several Bob Seger albums, including Stranger in Town and Against the Wind. Delbert McClinton and the MSRS recorded his classic LP The Jealous Kind at MSS.

Hood has kept busy as a session bassist, working with Dan Penn, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Buffett, and many others through the 1990s. He joined The Decoys (fronted by Scott Boyer) in 1996, appearing on Shot From the Saddle; concurrently, Hood worked with Russell Smith (Amazing Rhythm Aces) on The End is Not In Sight. In 2005 he collaborated with Memphis producer Jim Dickinson at Sun Studios recording John Hiatt's album Master of Disaster. ~ Peter B. Olson & Steve Leggett, All Music Guide

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