Renovation work set to begin on Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

The Muscle Shoals Music Foundation has announced that renovation work on the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama will start next month, and be completed by the end of the year.

The one-of-a-kind project – made possible via a grant from Beats by Dre (Beats), the audio brand co-founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine – will include carefully staged construction that will leave the studio more structurally sound, while preserving the ambience that made it one of the most important recording studios in the world.

Les Tillery of Fuqua & Partners Architects, B.H. Craig Construction and Michael Cronin Acoustic Construction have come together to handle the important project, while also trying to minimise the amount of time the site will be closed to the public.

Rodney Hall, board member for the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation (MSMF), spearheaded the group’s purchase of the historic building from a private owner so that it could be operated by a nonprofit organisation.

“We are thrilled that this important piece of music history can be permanently restored and made available to the public,” said Hall. “The foundation was able to purchase the building through the generosity of private investors, like Gene Hamby, who understand the importance of preserving the legacy of Muscle Shoals Music.”

The studio was founded in 1969 by Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Roger Hawkins and Barry Beckett. It became one of the most influential recording studios in the country, attracting artists such as the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, Cher, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Art Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many, many more.

Since the 2013 release of the critically-acclaimed documentary Muscle Shoals, more than 20,000 music enthusiasts from throughout the world have made pilgrimages to 3614 Jackson Highway.

“We are grateful to Beats for supporting our community’s efforts,” stated MSMF Chairman Judy Hood. “Jimmy Iovine understands that the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is magic and we are now protecting and preserving that distinct and authentic sound. The studio will be open to the public as well as to musicians for sessions. After the grand re-opening of the room that Keith Richards called ‘rock and roll heaven,’ we expect both hit records as well as selfies of visitors from all of the world to come out of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.”

Hood added that the Foundation has also acquired land behind the studio, due to be developed later as museum space or a performance venue.

Picture: Muscle Shoals Music Foundation