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Jason Isbell Announces Inaugural ShoalsFest in Alabama

Jonathan Bernstein

Jason Isbell has announced ShoalsFest, his first-ever music festival in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Slated for October 5th, the one-day festival will feature main stage sets from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Mavis Staples, Sheryl Crow and Amanda Shires, in addition to a slew of yet-to-be announced second-stage performers.

“These acts are all personal favorites of ours, and we’re proud to bring them to our hometown and show them a good time,” says Isbell, a native of the region who grew up playing with and learning from the area’s famed session musicians. “I got very lucky to be from that part of the world,” he said in a 2017 interview.

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Isbell is not the only headlining act to have direct ties to Muscle Shoals: Mavis Staples recorded two of the biggest singles of her career — the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself” — with session group the Swampers in the early Seventies.

The setting for the first-ever ShoalsFest will be McFarland Park in Florence, Alabama, located just a few miles away, on the other side of the Tennessee River, from Fame Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

Tickets for ShoalsFest go on sale March 25th.

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