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This summer, the funky Donnie Fritts returns with June: a personal and emotional tribute to his best friend, the late, great Muscle Shoals R&B legend Arthur Alexander. The album was produced by John Paul White and Ben Tanner and was recorded in the evenings at the original location of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. The album will be released worldwide on August 31 and locally in Florence, AL with a special album release show at 116 E. Mobile
on July 27.
"His name was Arthur Alexander, Junior," Fritts explains. "That's why we called him June."
June is now available for pre-order via Single Lock Records and includes an instant download of "You Better Move On."
Stream "You Better Move On" via Soundcloud:
"You Better Move On" is a haunting cover of Arthur Alexander's groundbreaking classic that kickstarted the Muscle Shoals music industry. "It was the first R&B hit record to come out of the Muscle Shoals area," Fritts explains. "Groups like The Rolling Stones
and The Beatles
loved June's songs. They recorded a few of them, too." (The Stones released their version of "You Better Move On" in the US on December's Children (And Everybody's) in 1965.)
June opens with the title track, a song that Fritts penned in 1993 on the ride back to Muscle Shoals from the Nashville hospital where Alexander
succumbed to complications from a heart attack. "My heart was broken, but I wanted to express how I felt about him," Fritts says. "So I did it the only way I knew how— I wrote a song for him."
The personnel from Fritts' critically acclaimed 2015 release, Oh My Goodness, return to backup the "Alabama Leaning Man" on June: John Paul White on guitar and vocals, David
Hood on bass, Ben Tanner on keyboards, Reed Watson on drums and Kelvin
Holly on electric guitar. Laura
and Lydia Rogers from The Secret Sisters provide harmonies, while Kimi Samson and Caleb Elliott provide violin and cello, respectively.
"It was such an honor to do this album," Fritts explains. "I hope this album will mean as much to listeners as it does to me and my family."
Donnie Fritts is a Florence, Ala. native and one of many local musical luminaries. He's a lauded songwriter, noted for his tracks "We Had It All" (recorded by scores of artists from Waylon
Jennings and Dolly Parton
to Ray Charles) and "Breakfast in Bed" which he co-wrote with Eddie Hinton for Dusty Springfield's album Dusty in Memphis. He played and travelled with Kris Kristofferson's band for nearly 20 years, and has released four previous albums-- Prone to Lean, Everybody's Got a Song, the Dan Penn-produced One Foot in the Groove and Oh My Goodness, his first release for Florence, Alabama's Single Lock Records.
2) In The Middle of It All
3) You Better Move On
4) All The Time
5) I'd Do It Over Again
6) Come Along With Me
7) Lonely Just Like Me
8) Soldier of Love
9) Thank God He Came
10) Adios Amigo
7/14: Lexington, KY - The Burl
7/27: Florence, AL - 116 E. Mobile