The grass roots music renaissance of Muscle Shoals Alabama brings a package show to Nashville this weekend as Single Lock Records presents two nights of bands and songwriters in two different venues.
Songwriter John Paul White, one of the record label’s co-founders, will anchor both shows. Saturday’s acoustic bill at the Basement on 8th Ave. South includes 75-year-old studio legend and songwriter Donnie Fritts, bluesman Cedric Burnside and more. Sunday, January 21 is an electric set at the larger Basement East with Dylan LeBlanc, Nicole Atkins and The Kernal.
Of special note that second night will be Single Lock’s newest release, a luxurious southern pop album from six-year-old Florence band Belle Adair. The sophomore LP, out Friday, is called Tuscumbia.
Ben Tanner, who has played keyboards for Belle Adair and the Alabama Shakes, is a partner in Single Lock Records. In a talk last year to a University of North Alabama entrepreneurship group, Tanner said the label is a kind of collective of old friends that’s helped galvanize the new music making culture of a place that was already rich in history.
“We were all working together, all making records together," said Tanner. "It can be kind of a dirty word, but if you can put a brand on the scene that already exists, if you can put a name on it, it really helps signal to the town, the region and the rest of the world, and make that link: Muscle Shoals, Single Lock and all these bands are affiliated in an official way that’s helped all of us.”
Single Lock had early success by releasing the debut recording of neo-soul sensations St. Paul & the Broken Bones. They budgeted for sales of about 5,000 albums and wound up so far selling almost 150,000. Since then, Single Lock has added Nashville surf instrumental band Steelism and understated vocal duo Penny & Sparrow.
They’ve also opened a live venue 116 E. Mobile in Florence. But this weekend the show’s on the road in Nashville.