The humid, Alabama farmland-inspired music of David and Patterson Hood dripped over audience members at the Triple Door last Thursday during the the Tribute to the Music of Muscle Shoals with Patterson and David Hood, party of the Seattle International Film Festival. The sounds were laced with heat, laced with history. The duo covered tunes from The Rolling Stones to The Staple Singers, delighting the packed crowd.
The show, a tribute to the music born out of the recording studio Muscle Shoals – and the documentary of the same name, which debuted for SIFF on Wednesday – was the first for father and son as a duo together. David, who co-founded the studio, played bass guitar alongside his son Patterson, who strummed an acoustic and sang. The night was also David’s first trip to Seattle.
Muscle Shoals recording studio was formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in 1969 by David Hood, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins and Jimmy Johnson. The four men called themselves The Swampers and comprised the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which recorded on tracks by Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and more.
Patterson, who plays now in the Drive By Truckers, and who was much taller than his father on stage, told stories of what it was like growing up Alabama. “The town was named for all the Mussel shells that banked up on the shore,” he said. “Except, Alabama schools weren’t the best back then so they spelled it m-u-s-c-l-e!” He laughed. “We lived in a dry county so if Keith or Mic wanted any liquor, we’d have to drive across the border to Tennessee and buy some and hope we didn’t get pulled over by the cops!”
“There were no drugs,” father David said, smiling.
David, who raised a glass to cheers the audience before the set, was a master of the electric bass. You couldn’t escape noticing how large his hands were; he was simple where he needed to be, complex and challenging where he needed to be. But, overall, his tone and timing were impeccable. Seattle drummer Eric Eagle, part of the opening Jeff Fielder band, accompanied the Hoods on stage.
Dressed casually, and sporting thick southern accents, the Hoods played a 90-minute set, which culminated with a performance of “I’ll Take You There” with guest vocalist Choklate. David smiled after every song. Their music made you feel like you were sitting on a porch somewhere on a hazy Alabama night – you could almost taste the bootlegged whiskey
Jeff Fielder & Friends:
Patterson and David Hood: