See the Love for Soul Singer Eddie Hinton
The Secret To A Happy Ending
I new Eddie Hinton. Partied with Eddie Hinton. Wrote about Eddie Hinton, in Decatur, Alabama, in the mid-1980s.
Patterson Hood and crew made a series of mini-documentaries related to the various themes and influences the band explores on their next album, “Go-Go Boots.”
The eight episodes are a companion to this, their ninth studio album, due out Feb. 15. The episode above, directed with Jason Thrasher, delves into the band’s relationship with the music and mythology of Eddie Hinton — the obscure soul singer whom Hood described as “if Otis Redding met Howlin’ Wolf somewhere in the middle.”
“Back in the 60’s and 70’s, Eddie Hinton lived and recorded in my hometown of Muscle Shoals Alabama where he was a part of the thriving music scene that was based there,” Hood explains. “A triple threat (singer, guitar player and songwriter) Eddie participated in hit music by Percy Sledge, Bobby Womack, Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Dusty Springfield…. Later he made several incredible albums as a solo artist.”
Those are the albums you hear through the PA at any Drive-By Truckers show, usually before and after. Hinton was also a troubled soul, having spent time in mental institutions and was at times homeless late in life. “He passed away in 1995 and has since amassed a small but devoted cult following that includes the members of our band.”
“We ended up recording a couple of his songs for a tribute single series (from Shake It Records of Cincinnati) during the recording of this album and were so happy with the results we ended up using them on our new album,” Hood said. “The recording of ‘Everybody Needs Love’ and ‘Where’s Eddie’ actually changed the shape of the album we were making and became the impetus for the writing of several new songs for the project.” In those nine studio albums the band has never included a cover song before now, using two of their favorite Eddie Hinton songs on “Go-Go Boots.”
The same day “Go-Go Boots” comes out on ATO Records the band will also release Barr Weismann’s Drive-By Truckers documentary “The Secret To A Happy Ending.” The Washington Post said the film “captures the singular blend of grit, sensitivity, stamina and acute songwriting that have led admirers to compare them to Neil Young, William Faulkner, the Replacements and Robert Penn Warren.”
Weismann spent several years filming the band living and working, from touring to Thanksgiving, chronicling a period of upheaval in the band’s collective history. Far from wary of such an intimate look into his life and band, Hood is full of praise, “The resulting film isn’t a typical movie about a band as much as it’s a life affirming love letter to the salvation in doing what you love at all costs.”
“The Secret To A Happy Ending” screens at the IFC center in New York, Feb. 3. Check here for more listings.
© 2011, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.