Boston-based national touring singer/songwriters, Amy Black and Sarah Borges will bring some of Boston’s best players to Portland to celebrate the soulful music recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Amy, Sarah and the band cover songs recorded by Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and many others who recorded in Muscle Shoals.

PORTLAND — The classic music of Muscle Shoals, Alabama made famous in the late 1960s and ’70s is coming to the Portland performing arts center One Longfellow Square on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Boston-based singer/songwriter Amy Black, the producer and co- headliner of the show, premiered “Sock it to Me” in Boston this December to great reviews and is now taking it on the road.

Joining Black, is co-headliner, roots rocker Sarah Borges and a backing band of some of Boston’s best musicians. The group will perform classic songs originally recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama by Otis Reading, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Lou Rawls and others, as well as a few originals that embody the spirit and soul of Muscle Shoals.

Black was inspired to create the show after releasing a four-song EP “The Muscle Shoals Session” recorded this summer in Muscle Shoals, her family’s home place, with the Rock-and-Roll Hall-of-Famer, Spooner Oldham, keys player for Aretha Franklin, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and many others. The EP will be available for sale at the show.

“Recording in Muscle Shoals this summer at the FAME recording studio was an amazing experience for me. I’d passed that little building my whole life — every time I came to visit my grandparents — but I didn’t know the history until a few years ago. When I learned that Aretha Franklin and Etta James recorded there, I was shocked. I decided to spend a day there and record several classic covers from the past. Getting to do this with Spooner Oldham was like walking back in time and being a part of something so special. He played the same Wurly piano that he played with Aretha on ‘I Never Loved a Man,’” said Black.

The recent release of the award-winning documentary Muscle Shoals (www.magpictures.com/muscleshoals) has shined a spotlight on an area of the country that was almost forgotten for its incredible place in the history of modern music.

Before Black was aware of the documentary, she had already planned to record in Muscle Shoals. But what she learned through the film shaped her idea of what she wanted the project to be.

“I was inspired when I saw the film and instead of recording my original songs, I wanted to record some of the excellent music that had been written and produced at FAME during Muscle Shoals’ heyday,” she said.

After recording the EP, Black wanted to educate music lovers about the rich history and help bring the music back to life and decided to put a review show together. She felt it needed to include other artists who had a love for this music too and could represent it well.

She invited the vocal powerhouse Sarah Borges to join the project as well as some of Boston’s best and most soulful players. The result is one incredible night of some of the best music ever written and recorded.

Tickets for “Sock it to Me” are available for $18 at www.onelongfellowsquare.com and at the door on the night of the performance. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

About Amy Black

Amy Black is a singer/songwriter with storytelling and Southern tradition in her blood. Based in Boston, in record time she’s become one of the most sought after acts in the East sharing stages with Chris Isaak, The Courtyard Hounds, Rodney Crowell, and Emmylou Harris and headlining at top venues. The Boston Globe described her music as, “Americana in its broadest definition, rooted in folk and country but with tinges of Southern soul and blues.”

Her most recent release is the four song EP, The Muscle Shoals Session, recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, her family’s home place, and in Feb. 2013 she released This Is Home, a full album of original music recorded in Nashville. More about Amy and her music at www.amyblack.com

About Sarah Borges

To watch Sarah Borges strut and howl onstage is to participate in rock-and roll-communion, all glistening sweat and high kicks, soul-shaking and sassy antics. She’s a modern-day retro spitfire, red lipstick curled in a smirk as she summons her six-string to conjure a host of fiery spirits, leaving a stunned and ecstatic audience in her wake.

This same raucous energy shoots through her fourth studio album, Radio Sweetheart, which is a statement of Borges’ future as much as it is a reflection of her past. Funded entirely by fans, the new album is a sea change marking a split from both Sugar Hill Records (the label that released her two most recent albums) and her longtime band the Broken Singles, all set in motion by a road weariness bred from six years of constant touring and the home-is-where-the-heart-is lure of brand new motherhood. Learn more at www.sarahborges.com


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