Montgomery Alabama Music
Alabama is home to some of the most popular music in the United States, and of course, "Alabama Home" is a classic song for the state. Alabama is home to the Alabama Crimson Tide, Alabama State University and Alabama University.
Over the past 50 years, Alabama has emerged as home to some of the most talented musicians in the country and the world of jazz and country music, including the New South Jazz Orchestra, the Alabama Jazz Band and many others. The list could be continued by Jake White, a violin legend and modern country star turned bluegrass artist. There is also the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra of Alabama, which is made up of musicians from Alabama State University and the Alabama College of Music. This big band broke with the traditional jazz scene and united everything from Duke Ellington to Bob Marley. They are prominently represented in "Arranged," the first album by the new Alabama Orchestra in over a decade.
The Jazz Hall of Fame is also located in downtown Birmingham and hosts concerts by some of Alabama's most famous jazz musicians and other local artists. A tour of the nearby Carver Theatre is a great opportunity to visit the band that once featured jazz legends Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton, and often features local jazz artists and comedy. The guys play back to back, see the club lists above for more information about the Alabama Jazz Band, the New South Jazz Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
The crowd poured onto the lawn in a no bigger than two car garages, but the music was always the bubbling blues and the crowds poured into the parking lot. It is the collision of sensibilities that has shaped classical country music, and one of Alabama's most famous musicians is Georgiana - born Hank Williams Sr. Williams grew up with his family in a small town in South Carolina and eventually found work in Nashville, Tennessee. But what makes Alabama so special is not only the music, but also the people who radiate genuine southern hospitality.
At 15 he began performing in the local music scene, which included a time as lead singer of a local blues band and then as a member of the Alabama State Band. Local bands took to the stage, including Jerry Phillips and his son Sam Phillips, who recorded his first solo album in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Just as talented but less well known - singer, player and songwriter.
Their first album was produced by T. Bone Burnett, and they played with such greats as Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, John Prine and many others. Woodpeckers, the band that played in the Montgomery area, includes members of the Alabama State Band, Ben Folds Band and other local bands. They played the Sounds of Summer outdoor music series at Capitol Music Hall in Montgomery on Saturday, August 5, 2013.
Birmingham, Alabama, has several active big bands, including the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, founded and led by Ray Reach. The state also has a Celtic music scene that spawns Birmingham - harpist Cynthia Douglass and her pipe band. I met the Secret Sisters at the show and now I have them signed on CD and I will hear more live music when I return to the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa.
Major artists include the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly and countless others who have recorded there, as well as greats such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, John Prine and many others.
It is the distinctive muscle shoals sound that draws musicians here, a hillbilly blues-gospel combination that emerged when black artists added white country to their pieces of music and white artists mixed black blues and gospel into their traditional music. Both traditions are different and bring with them substantial differences. Southern gospel contains elements of bluegrass and country music more than black gospel, but both are part of the "native jazz" sound of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. These groups from Alabama and Fort Payne are credited with bringing traditional country into the mainstream, as opposed to solo singers, paving the way for the success of today's top country groups.
This genre is part of the American South, including the state of Alabama, but on Interstate 65 between Birmingham and Mobile I first realized how empty much of Alabama was still. My wife and I were on our way to the Alabama State Fair in Huntsville, about an hour south of Birmingham, and dark, woolly clouds were in the Alabama sky.
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame held a benefit night, and two local musicians, the Secret Sisters, played. Sunpie had come to Montgomery to make music and entertain everyone who heard him.
Jazz echoed through Gip Place, where the young man, who was to be inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, could be heard. For 50 years, the Secret Sisters have played at GIP Place with other local musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Hank Jones and Ike Davis.