Highlights from our trip to Alabama

February 12, 2011

The shoot and road trip was really excellent.  We drove from Chicago Monday night missing the blizzard by a day.

Friday Interviewed Ryan Russell who is photographing Ralph for his upcoming album.

Saturday night
Ralph headlined a show put on by the Oxford American at the Alabama Theater in Birmingham.  We met up with our third shooter Daniel Richards, although we had never met it seemed as we had known him for ages.  Solid shooter.

We interviewed David Hood on the mezzanine of the theater. David Hood played bass with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section as well as on a few of Ralph’s tracks in the 60’s.

Ralph played a solid show, backed by his peers who seemed to add a jazz feel to the set.  The crowd danced to the beats and I truly appreciated Ralph’s costume change.

We headed to Phenix City on Sunday.  Ralph graciously showed us around his hometown, introduced us to his lovely mom and sang a spontaneous duet with his friend Cheryl.  Ralph’s roots are deep in Phenix City and it was apparent as we toured the town.  His dogs are total sweethearts.

Monday Drove to Rogersville, Alabama to interview Spooner Oldham, who had produced a few of Ralph’s singles.  We were greeted at the car by his adorable dog.  He was so welcoming and made us feel very comfortable in his home.  His interview focused on Fame Studios and Ralph’s early recording.  After the interview we drank Neil Young “tour tea” and chatted for a bit.  Waylon Jennings came up in conversation and I mentioned I liked him, Spooner responded with “yeah, he’s a really cool guy.”  (That was awesome.)

Tuesday we filmed the interior of Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama as well as the exhibits in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.  Later headed to Memphis to interview Skip Mcquinn, a producer of Ralph’s songs in the early 80’s.  Skip gave such a wonderful interview, answering a lot of questions about the music industry and Ralph as a younger artist.

Everyone was so supportive of this project and I really appreciated their willingness to work with me.

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