Riding high off the release of last year’s aptly titled “Good as Gold” debut, Austin, Texas-based soul collective The Nightowls decided to strike while the iron was hot. They traveled to Muscle Shoals, Ala., to record their sophomore album at Fame Studios, the iconic recording venue that once hosted the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Percy Sledge, The Allman Brothers and Little Richard.
“We did a lot of research and a lot of listening to all the music and all the artists that came out of Fame Studios,” Nightowls founder Ryan Harkrider explains of the inspiration for sublime new release “Fame Sessions.” “We made a lot of intentional choices, not only sonically but also with the arrangements, to reflect that legacy. We crafted the album to play like a microcosm of the history of the studio, going from the early days of classic soul through the later days with a Southern rock sound.”
The results are nothing short of terrific, as The Nightowls click on all cylinders throughout the too-shot eight-track, 32-minute set. The standout track is rousing lead single “Get Up!” and the band also shines bright on “Highline,” “Come on Over (Come Together),” “Sad Sad Song” and rocking closer “Avalon.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)