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Honey Island Swamp Band
Music Playlist Series
Normally, Honey Island Swamp Band can be found on the stages of our local festivals, or on tour across the country. But, today, they take a break from their busy playing schedule to let us know what they're listening to.
The New Orleans band came together during post-K evacuation, as all of the members were marooned in San Francisco. Since then, the five-piece outfit has released two albums that exemplify their mix of swamp pop, rock and blues - all sprinkled with a heaping helping of mandolin. Tomorrow night, they're playing Tip's. In case the music wasn't enough, the band will be joined by Swamp Honey Burlesque for the gig. Later this month, they'll be back in town for Halloween weekend, including a stop an Oct. 28 stop at Voodoo Fest. Catch up with them before they're gone.
Before you go, check out what's on their car stereo:
From the Band: We’re on the road a whole lot, so we’re constantly on the hunt for new music to pass the hours. These are some songs that seem to get turned up every time they come up in the rotation.
2. "(I Want To Be) A Better Man," The Ethiopians
3. "Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)," Iron and Wine
4. "Open Pit Mine," George Jones
I grew up listening to my parents’ country records – my mom was like the biggest Kenny Rogers fan ever. I dug that stuff too – still do – but later I got into the darker stuff, outlaw country I guess some would call it. George Jones has had plenty of typical light-hearted country hits in his day, but he has this ability to deliver something sinister with such a straight face it’s like twice as spooky. Also, he’s made so much music there are all kinds of great obscure songs to discover. This one is off of some compilation we picked up at a truck stop somewhere – we get a lot of our music that way. It’s about a guy who slaves away in a mine in Arizona, and spends all his money on his girl, buys her a ring in all. When he catches her two-timing he shoots her and buries her in the mine. George sings the line like he’s talking about walking down the street, totally cold blooded, no emotion whatsoever. I love that. One other thing about this track I love, you can hear the record crackling, even though it’s a CD. I don’t get that, but I love it.
5. "B Movie Boxcar Blues," Delbert McClinton
6. "Satisfied ‘N Tickled Too," Taj Mahal
7. "Country John," Allen Toussaint
Allen Toussaint needs no introduction, especially in New Orleans where he is obviously a living legend. Besides being a great songwriter, he does so many cool things with his arrangements. In this song, for instance, he’s got this counter melody going on during the chorus that you would normally expect to be done with horns. But here he does it with a vocal harmony line – the whole “didn’t he . . . “ bit. Little unexpected things like that pop up all over his music, and as a songwriter it reminds you to think outside the box. I’ve always heard that Allen didn’t like his own voice but I can’t see why; I think it’s great.
8. "Fool Yourself," Little Feat
9. "Day Tripper," The Beatles
We’ve been checking out a lot of the old Beatles stuff lately, and it turns out this song was never even on an album, if you can believe that. This is another compilation we found on tape; I had the same tape as a kid and wore it out one summer on my Walkman while I was mowing lawns. One side of the earphones was always going out and all the sudden you’d be left with no lead vocals or no lead guitar. It pissed me off at the time, but really I was learning an important lesson about how George Martin mixed those classic Beatles hits, with the different voices and instruments panned to different sides of the mix. This song just rocks, my favorite part is how Paul’s bass line comes rolling in like thunder after the breakdown at the end.
10, "Ain’t Wastin Time No More," Allman Brothers
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B. E. Mintz
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