An overview of the 1967-69 southern soul sessions undertaken at Fame studios by Chess Records. Includes three previously unissued tracks.
Rick Hall’s Fame studios in Muscle Shoals enjoyed a lengthy relationship with Chicago’s Chess Records that, one way or another, spanned most of the 60s. “Reaching Out” concentrates on 1967 to 1969, when Chess was sending down its own artists to record at the studio, rather than the masters Rick Hall placed with the company in previous years.
Every artist Chess sent to Fame during those years is featured here. No other company sent quite as many acts to the studio as Chess. Luckily they had some of the greatest female soul vocalists on their books at the time, and Etta James, Irma Thomas, Laura Lee and Mitty Collier all benefited greatly from a bit of Muscle Shoals magic.
This was the era of the studio’s second great rhythm section, the Swampers, and the musicians who truly defined the Fame sound can be heard working out on three instrumental selections released in the name of tenor sax star Charles Chalmers.
To make an already exciting project even more interesting, this collection eschews most of the best-known sides Chess artists recorded at Fame (many of which are available on other Kent CDs) in favour of less-familiar tracks, including three previously unissued and several others making their CD debut.