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Episode 111 – Artist Feature – Roger Hawkins

“Now, Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers. And they’ve been known to pick a song or two.” Literally millions of people have heard this famous line from Lynyrd Skynyrd but how many actually know what it means? The Swampers were the famous rhythm section from Muscle Shoals’ FAME recording studio and they are responsible for hundreds of popular hits and thousands of great feeling tracks. This week we’ll christen the midway point of the second season and listen to the Swampers’ incredible drummer, Roger Hawkins, for our artist feature.

Knowing that this topic would be dead center of Jon’s strike zone he details a short biography of Hawkins and discusses the many influences, sometimes unknowingly, on the drumming populace. Hawkins is sometimes mistaken for RnB studio greats, typically Al Jackson or Bernard Purdie, so we take time to explain the reasons for that. We then listen to several tracks featuring Roger and analyze what’s happening in each track. Below are the song choices from each host.

Phil’s tracks:
1) Land of a 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett
2) Get Ready – King Curtis version
3) Respect Yourself – Staples Singers
4) Katmandu – Bob Seger

Jon’s tracks:
1) Never Loved a Man – Aretha Franklin
2) I’ll Take You There – Staples Singers
3) I’d Rather Go Blind – Etta James
4) Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett

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