Sugar & the Hi-Lows

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup, a.k.a. Sugar & the Hi-Lows, whose debut release, Sugar & the Hi-Lows, is out now. Take it away, Trent and Amy!

TRENT DABBS

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

Some voices are so powerfully original they cannot even be compared. Marvin Gaye had a voice that is so smooth and peaceful, I could listen forever. This album was one that played in the background of my childhood at various times. It is a tension reliever on any stressful day. I think on the island I would like to have this musical sedative if I couldn’t have people around me.

John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band

Any album that starts out with the line ” Mother… you had me but I never had you” is an easy a shoo-in for most convicting. I would probably write songs on the island if i listened to this album enough because of its passion and honesty.

Bob Dylan- Time out of Mind

This album is a journey — and completely flawless. Most of my favorite lyrics of all time are off this record. It reminds me of long drives and late nights.

Neil Young- Harvest Moon

This record brings out every fiber of emotion I can handle. His beautiful and fragile voice against simple lyrics ranging from topics about his dog, father, and lover are staggeringly haunting. I sat outside with my best friends in high school listening to this record while sitting in lawn chairs. I will never forget those times and this soundtrack of my past. Also, I play Neil in the background with my own family, so it would give me peace.

Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque

I hesitated for a second to put this album down for my island visit… but again… nothing does it for me like this noisy pop gem. You can hear the friendships in the music and I would want to sing along word for word even if nobody was around. You can always have air guitar, right?

AMY STROUP

Frank Sinatra – I remember Tommy

To remind me of my family. My granddad loved big band music. He had several Frank Sinatra records always around the house including Frank’s Tommy Dorsey tribute. Hearing Frank would be like channeling the good times with my family in Memphis.

Bon Iver – For Emma Forever Ago

To remind me of friends. For Emma Forever Ago has been the most consistent soundtrack to many road trips with friends of recent years. I have vivid memories of belting ‘ Skinny Love’ across Texas, Florida, Georgia, California, Oregon, Mississippi, Tennessee and all up and down the east coast.

Patty Griffin – 1000 Kisses

To remind me of good stories. Her songs are mini cinematography factories. Having her album would be like having a movie series for my imagination in the desert.

Beyonce – I Am… Sasha Fierce

To remind me not to take myself too seriously, and to be sexy fierce. If I’m in the desert, I am gonna need some laughter and dance sessions in my toolbox to get me through.

Lucinda Williams – WEST

To remind me of God. Her songs are the most human and courageous gems I’ve heard in these modern times. She reminds me of pain, which reminds me of God.


Not a bad set of influences…not bad at all. Hear how they all came together — here’s Sugar & the Hi-Lows‘ video for “See It for Yourself”: