Oh, man, you guys — this show was a whim. I dug Trent Dabbs’ album Southerner, and when I read about his new project with Amy Stroup, described as “old-fashioned garage stomp”, I was sold without hearing a song. The lovely Monica at Think Press was nice enough to put me on the list for their show at the Cradle, opening for Marc Broussard, and I set off without having heard a single song.
I was sold as soon as Dabbs and the rest of the Hi-Lows set foot on the stage, vamping for the lovely Amy Sugar, and the entire rest of the set was completely convincing that what the Alabama Shakes were to 2011, Sugar & the Hi-Lows are going to be to 2012: a meteoric rise, thanks entirely to the fact that they make rump-shaking, soul-rattling music. It’s half doowop, part Nashville country-soul, part Black Keys blues stomp, part ’50s Buddy Holly pop and not just for Dabbs’ thick glasses. It’s incredibly catchy songwriting, it’s a high energy stage show and hilarious banter, and it’s four great musicians who can read each others’ minds.
The Thrill didn’t dance to their set, but I did. I even put the camera down and shook it with abandon to a burnin’ cover of “Proud Mary” in the middle of the set. Worth it, worth it, worth.
Marc Broussard, obviously, was the headliner, and I really dug his set — he’s a songwriter in the style of Randy Newman, and I find his Louisiana accent superbly charming, and his band was also super fantastic, but I can’t front like I was there to see him. I was there to see Sugar & the Hi-Lows, and they made that decision over 150% worthwhile.
Full set is here. Their debut album drops 2/14, just in time for some broken hearted songs and some you can’t leave me and some fuck you love songs. Get it get it get it.