Song Premiere: Shonna Tucker's Cover Of Bob Seger's 'Hollywood Nights'

Keavin Wiggins | 07-09-2024 11:25 AM EDT

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Song Premiere: Shonna Tucker's Cover Of Bob Seger's 'Hollywood Nights'

We are excited to premiere the brand new cover of Bob Seger's classic song "Hollywood Nights" by Shonna Tucker of Drive-By Truckers fame, which is one of the tracks included on the forthcoming "Silver Bullet Bluegrass", all-star tribute to Bob Seger album that will be released this Friday (July 12th).

Seger recorded the song for his hit 6x platinum 1978 album "Stranger In Town" that was partially recorded at the Muscle Shoals studio with the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and partially recorded with the Silver Bullet Band.

Shonna had this to say about the special recording of the "Stranger In Town" hit single, "It was October 2014 and I had just moved back home to Killen, AL from living in Athens, GA for a few years when I got a call from Gary Nichols asking if I'd be up for singing on a track. I've known Gary since we were teenagers playing gigs around the Shoals, so I knew it would be a fun day in the studio. I was even more excited to hear we'd be working at The Nutthouse with Jimmy Nutt. I mean, a bluegrass version of a Seger song to boot. It sounded like a really cool project and I didn't hesitate to say yes.

"I've worked with Jimmy Nutt a whole bunch of times over the last 20 years or so and every single time has been a stellar experience. He's just so great at what he does and is super laid back and fun. He always seems to make your job feel easier. I love recording with him and I'm always blown away by how great everything he does sounds. It was my first time meeting Randall. He had his lovely wife and daughter with him and they were all such cool folks. A big tip of the hat to Randall for the idea for this project and for his persistence. It's been a long time coming and a whole lot of hard work to get this album done. He and Jimmy seem to have hit it off and worked so well together. I genuinely think it's a fantastic album and I'm very happy that it's finally seeing the light of day. It's a great honor to be a part of it.

"Funny, strange AND magical ALWAYS happen at the Nutthouse! For me, I'm a touring and studio bass player first and I sing sometimes, so it was a bit strange for me to just show up without hauling my bass over there haha. I'm a bit of an ol hippie at heart, so I believe making music is always magical. It felt like a dadgum miracle that I was able to sing that song. The instrumentation is so radical and not like any style I had ever recorded vocally before or since. Gary Nichols engineered and was a huge help. He's an incredible singer and was a fantastic coach. We're both big goofballs and hadn't seen each other in a good long while, so we ended up laughing a lot and had a great time. It was SO fun!

"I'm from and currently live in Killen, AL, which is just about 20 minutes east of Muscle Shoals and Sheffield. There are handful of world renowned studios here in the Shoals and no shortage of musical history. That definitely includes Bob Seger. He recorded a bunch of his biggest hits here and has become synonymous with this area. I guess his essence couldn't help seeping through my doors.

"As a young and hungry musician growing up where I did, I soon became quite obsessed with all things 'Muscle Shoals'. I had played upright bass in a bluegrass band in high school, then ventured into the Rock n Roll by the time I was 19 or 20. By then, I was definitely wholly in love with the idea of becoming a studio musician and had the unique and great opportunity to be able to hang out in, observe and learn, then eventually start recording in some the best studios in the world at an early age. So many of the players who played on so many of the hits back in the day still live around here and are still recording. As I started to be invited to do sessions, I got to work with these top shelf musicians and heard many stories about many of the artists they'd recorded with. Everybody loves Bob Seger! This area is loaded with studios, but it's never really been know as a live music town. There were hardly any places to play shows or gigs around here when I was young. The few places we did go to hear or play music were usually restaurants and you could count on there being a bunch of covers of songs recorded in the Shoals. I can't even begin to guess how many times I've heard or played Bob Seger songs in a restaurant or beer joint around here while the margarita crowd boogie woogied haha. His music absolutely influenced me. Not only as a bass player, but as a songwriter and a singer as well.

"'Hollywood Nights' was always on my radar, but not really one of Seger's songs that I ever played or learned. Since I recorded this track for this album, it has become one of my favorites and now holds a special space in my heart. I've always loved this song, but I think this unique rendition is pretty cool. The players just knocked it way over the fence and out of the park. I had so much fun singing this song and it means a lot to me now."

Aside from Shonna, the "Silver Bullet Bluegrass" album features covers of Bob Seger classics from Bo Bice, Carson Peters, Gary Nichols, Ward Hayden, Josh Shilling, Tim Shelton, Tim Stafford, Keith Garrett, Robert Hale, Jeff Parker, Bill Taylor, Larry Cordle, and was produced by Randall Deaton.

Stream "Hollywood Nights" and see the production credits for the track below and pre-save the full album here.

Production Credits for "Hollywood Nights"
Producer: Randall Deaton
Engineers: Randall Deaton and Jimmy Nutt
Tracking Studios: Lonesome Day Recording Studio, Booneville ,KY/ The NuttHouse Recording Studio, Muscle Shoals, AL
Mixing Studio: The NuttHouse Recording Studio, Muscle Shoals, AL
Guitar: Stephen Mougin
Mandolin: Shawn Brock
Banjo: Ned Luberecki
Bass: Mike Bub
Fiddle: Tim Crouch
Dobro: Wayne Bridge
Harmony vocals: Gary Nichols and Cindy Walker

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