King Corduroy wasn’t about to let the chance to record at FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., go undocumented. The experience is showcased in the video for “Shamrock Inn,” premiering on Billboard exclusively below, from the Nashville musician’s just-released EP, Avalon Ave.
“I wanted to convey that the record was recorded live, and that’s the most iconic place I’ve ever recorded,” Corduroy, whose real name is Kurt McMahan, tells Billboard. “It was a special moment, and I just wanted it documented and I thought it would be a good way to do both things and have it serve as a music video.”
The clip shows Corduroy — looking like a young Leon Russell — playing the track in FAME’s Studio A, with producer Jimbo Hart and members of Jason Isbell‘s 400 Unit, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and a string section joining him.
“It was really incredible to walk in and see that nothing had changed in there,” Corduroy says of the setting. “Rodney Hall, [FAME founder] Rick’s son, was there. He’d come into the control room sometimes and listen and give us energy and make it seem like we were doing something that’s groovy. Jimbo brought in some killer players that took the record to a level it wouldn’t have been otherwise. We had a lot going for us there.”
The soulful Avalon Ave., Corduroy’s fourth release, is named for the street where FAME is located in Muscle Shoals. Now on tour to promote it, Corduroy is also starting to consider where he wants to record next, with an aim to continue to visit as many iconic sites as he can during his career.
“I want to record in all the great music towns,” he explains. “I’ve got my Austin record, I did my L.A. record, my Nashville record and now the Muscle Shoals thing. I want to continue that. I definitely want to hit Memphis — I’m definitely a fan of Stax and what Sam Phillips did there. I’d love to go to New Orleans to make a record at some point and just continue to do that. That’s also part of my mission, in addition to the music.”