This Way To The Egress just released Onward! Up A Frightening Creek. While you’re getting acquainted with that record, it might behoove you to check out this mix tape, curated by Sarah Shown and Taylor Galassi, to get to know the band on an even deeper level. Read and listen/watch below.
Sarah: I love the fact that this really fresh, new, young artist has found a way to pay homage to such a monumental figure in music and civil rights. I like when I see an artist play a role in social consciousness, honoring musicians that have paved the way before us. Miriam Makeba has always been a woman I look up to and admire, and I think this was a great homage piece. I hope it introduces her to some folks who aren’t familiar. It is also a really great dance song.
The Dead Brothers, “St Dympha”
Sarah: This song is a bit of a deliverance from the Dead Brothers’ typical haunting, death country vibe. Although I love their typical stuff, this song strikes a nerve. The harmonies and guitar parts are, at times, reminiscent of Paul Simon—whom I love. It is a spiritual song done by a band who usually embraces the dark side of humanity. It’s super pretty.
Honus Honus, “Heavy Jesus”
Sarah: This song is super fun. Honus, in whatever incarnation he is releasing music under, always seems to blur the lines between completely bizarre and super catchy, poppy earworms. This song is a complete earworm, but I felt like I could totally relate. The only religion I have ever known is rock ‘n’ roll.
Duke Ellington, “Creole Love Call”
Sarah: If I only had one song I could listen to the rest of my life, this would be it. It encompasses the absolute longing for life, love and tranquility that was present during that time. Musicianship of this era was seriously epic; there has been nothing like it since. Adelaide Hall’s vocals are everything, and the screaming clarinets and sopranos pull the last of my heart strings.
Tom Waits “Way Down In A Hole”
Sarah: Tom Waits is by far my favorite artist and storyteller of my time. A friend of mine said to me once, “There are two people in this world Sarah: people who get Tom Waits and people who don’t.” Tom does such a good job in this song of reflecting intentions of the church—the fear of the devil with which many religions oppress folks—but in a completely sexy way. This song is like a whiskey on the rocks in a dank, smoking bar. It is neon lights and seedy underbellies.
Spike Jones & His City Slickers, “You Always Hurt The One You Love”
Taylor: When I was growing up, my grandfather used to play old Spike Jones records on his stereo. Spike Jones was a jazz musician who decided he wanted to start doing renditions of old classics with car horns, gun shots, whistles, anvils, cow bells and the like. That morphed into Spike Jones & His City Slickers. They toured the world spreading their satirical arrangements of popular songs and classical music. They also composed songs based on the current events at the time, which was in the 1940s.
Vitas, “Opera #2”
Taylor: Vitas is a Latvian singer who sings in Russian and Ukrainian. He is known for his unique head voice and boasts a five-octave vocal range. His live show consists of props, lavish costumes and dancers. I really enjoy this artist’s music. It’s completely different than any of the mainstream music you might hear, even in other countries. His popularity continues to grow. He has not yet toured in the U.S., but I’m sure that will change in the future. Give a listen to his other works, and check out his other videos. You won’t be sorry!
Ford Theatre Reunion, “Road Dogs”
Taylor: Love this band and love this song. The chord progression, lyrics and musical changes just grab me. We know this band personally, and they’re out there doing it DIY style. Their live show is insanely energetic, complete with witty stage banter and unexpected musical time signatures. They’ve got a growing fan base in the Lexington, K.Y., music scene, and their sludgefunk circuspunk music is something you need to hear.
Death, “Scavenger Of Human Sorrow”
Taylor: Whenever people ask me about my favorite music, I have to mention my death-metal roots from when I was younger. I was a drummer for many death-metal bands in my teens and early 20s, so I’ve still got that soft spot for that style. Death was a band that was lead by the late Chuck Schuldiner, “The Godfather Of Deathmetal.” His music changed the way people looked at death metal. These were not your run-of-the-mill guitar riffs. He utilized music theory and polyrhythmic styles that just weren’t being done as much at the time. I still listen to Death, and I continue to be impressed with the onslaught of guitar riffs, drumming skills and overall orchestrations of all the musicians involved.
Squirrel Nut Zippers, “Ghost Of Stephen Foster”
Taylor: I’m pretty much in love with this band. They have been going on and off since 1993. A swing revival band formed by Jimbo Mathus. This song is filled with contagious melodies and gets you up out of your chair. You’re robbing yourself if you don’t go out and catch their live show!