When Missouri's young, rollicking 'grassers THE HILLBENDERS got the offer to submit this month's MIXTAPE, they decided to take things in a slightly different direction. Instead of one band member offering their Top Five song picks, each member of the band sent us their one favorite tune of the moment. The result is a list as deep and interesting as the music they play themselves...
• Nolan Lawrence's pick:
TRACK: "Angel of the Night"
ARTIST: The SteelDrivers
"There's just something about the unrestrained intensity of Chris Stapleton's voice, it evokes a primeval hypnosis over my soul. When i hear him sing, i become transfixed. Combine that with his incredibly thoughtful and adept writing and you've got me...hook, line, and sinker. This is one of my favorites of his, and it continually shows up on my playlist."
• Mark Cassidy's pick:
TRACK: "Safe and Sound"
ARTIST: Capital Cities
"The contagious melody and feel good, captivating lyrics keep this song on repeat in my phone... and the video is unreal. This is the first i've heard of them, but I dig the electronic feel of the instrumentation, samples, the dance beat, and the flowing lyrics. Simplistic and effective."
• Gary Rea's pick:
TRACK: "Chocolate on my Tongue"
ARTIST: The Wood Brothers
"This tune has a killer blues groove with lust for life lyrics. Not over played or over done, just perfectly pocket. Wood Brothers are THE modern roots bands right now. Hands down owning the scene."
• Chad Graves 's pick:
TRACK: "My suitcase is Always Packed"
ARTIST: The Red Stick Ramblers
"These guys have such a great vibe and tons of energy on stage, they never fail to get the crowd dancin'. This particular song strikes a chord with me because when you do what we do, your suitcase is always packed" (song starts at 3:50)
• Jim Rea's pick:
TRACK: "The Cool, Cool River"
ARTIST: Paul Simon
"This song has the brilliant use of triple/odd meter, touching poetry, and an explosively inspirational ending that will bring you to tears. While his album "Graceland" was groundbreaking, the two follow-up records, "Rhythm of the Saints", and "You're the One", seemed to speak to me directly through their worldly instrumentation, arrangements, and ensembles. A true American treasure."
You can learn more about The Hillbenders and their latest album Can You Hear Me? (Compass Records) via their website Hillbenders.com