See Alabama Shakes Play 'Killer Diller' for 'American Epic' - Rolling Stone
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See Alabama Shakes Play ‘Killer Diller’ for Jack White’s ‘American Epic’

Southern rockers record Memphis Minnie classic on 1920s equipment for ‘American Epic Sessions’

The Alabama Shakes reinterpret the blues classic “Killer Diller” in the latest clip from The American Epic Sessions, the Jack White co-produced odyssey into the music of the 1920s.

As the video notes, the Alabama Shakes recorded the Memphis Minnie cut one of the first electrical sound recording system invented in 1925 – the last one of its kind in existence. No editing or enhancements were made to the Alabama Shakes’ recording.

Previous American Epic Sessions clips have included White teaming up with Nas for the Memphis Jug Band’s “On the Road Again.” T Bone Burnett, a co-producer on American Epic, explained to Rolling Stone why the music for the 1920s was so foundational. 

“It was a watershed time for the record industry,” Burnett said. “The record companies that couldn’t sell music in New York went down South and started recording people where they didn’t have electricity. This whole process was begun of inventing rock & roll and hillbilly music and everything else that led to the Beatles and Nas.”

The three-part American Epic began airing on PBS on May 16th, with the second and third installments set to broadcast on May 23rd and May 30th. The American Epic Sessions – featuring White recording with Alabama Shakes, Beck, Elton John, Nas, Taj Mahal and many more – premieres June 6th on PBS.

In This Article: Alabama Shakes, Jack White


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