Texas & Spooner Oldham – The Muscle Shoals Sessions

PIAS recordings – Available
Texas & Spooner Oldham - The Muscle Shoals Sessions

In 2023, the band Texas honored us with a very nice Best of album that attempted to synthesize many years of the group’s success. Now, they’re back with a neo-soul album titled “Texas & Spooner Oldham,” the title clearly indicating their collaboration with pianist and composer Spooner Oldham. Recorded at the famous Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, during the summer of 2022, the album includes twelve of Texas’s greatest hits, as well as two covers (“Would I Lie To You” by Charles and Eddie and “Save The Last Dance” by The Drifters) – reimagined and stripped down to piano and voice. Stripped down to the essentials, guided by Sharleen Spiteri’s soulful voice and accompanied by the delicate piano lines of Spooner Oldham, the songs simply shine in this format, proving their worth as timeless classics in their own right.

The only thing one could criticize about this album is once again using the group’s most well-known tracks and presenting them in a new light. Nonetheless, the result is interesting, allowing the group’s singer to fully exploit her vocal specificities, which in a more rock-oriented version, as initially intended, tended to get lost in the group’s sound.

Regarding this unique experience, Sharleen declares: “Having the opportunity to go to Muscle Shoals to record was like being a child in a candy store. Working with Spooner was inspiring and fun, and he’s just a wonderful human being. The fact that Northern Soul music was a major influence for Texas made the association with Spooner truly magical and logical.”

As for adapting the songs for the album, Sharleen continues: “Reimagining our classics and breaking them down so you hear the clarity of the lyrics – it can give you a different perspective and feeling on these songs. It’s just voices and a piano, with beautiful accompaniments, all recorded live. I think you’ll get something very different from what you’ve heard in the original versions.”

The choice to work with Oldham is not incidental, you may ask why? The answer in a few lines… Inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, Spooner Oldham has shaped American soul music with his remarkable talent. A songwriter, producer, and session keyboardist, Oldham has left his mark on classics such as “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Mustang Sally,” and “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” After leaving Memphis in 1967, Oldham teamed up with singer Dan Penn at Chips Moman’s American Studios, and the songwriting duo became one of the best in the country. Together, they wrote hits for Aretha Franklin (“Do Right Woman”) and the Box Tops (“Cry Like a Baby”), among others, and their songs appeared on albums by artists such as Janis Joplin (“A Woman Left Lonely”).

We could go on and on, talk and talk about it, in any case, I salute here Sharleen’s courageous choice, which takes a real risk by delving into a strictly vocal album, definitively convinced in its reinterpretation of “The Conversation,” which commands respect. However, as these are not new tracks, we will simply recommend this “Favorite” full of sincerity, as we reserve “essential” status for new creations/compositions or albums that represent a part of music history with a capital “H”.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 31st 2024


To Buy This Album


Halo (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Mr Haze (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Summer Son (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Say What You Want (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Keep On Talking (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
The Conversation (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
In Demand (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Would I Lie To You (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Let’s Work It (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Black Eyed Boy (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Everyday Now (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
In Our Lifetime (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
I Don’t Want A Lover (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)
Save The Last Dance (The Muscle Shoals Sessions)