The Shoals is a community in Northwest Alabama made up of four towns: Muscle Shoals, Florence, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. Tucked in the foothills of the Tennessee River Valley, the Shoals is an hour from any interstate, and at least a two-hour drive from the nearest big cities—Nashville to the north and Birmingham to the south.
The Shoals is one of the most documented places in the world of music. The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, the Allman Brothers, Bobbie Gentry, even the Osmond Brothers — all made pilgrimages to record at legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, with locals like Percy Sledge and the Swampers, FAME’s in-house rhythm section.
Music is only part of the cultural story here. There’s a rich food culture, too. On this Gravy Road trip, we take a look at two sides of that story, one a local icon and the other, a newer kid in town.
Thanks to Wes Wages and Lee Taylor of Made in the Shoals for producing this episode and showing us around their hometown.