Live From SXSW: Sugar + The Hi-Lows

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Everybody has their favorite old song, the one that still commands their attention and affection even after hearing it a million times on the radio. For Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup, who make up the soul-powered Sugar the Hi-Lows, it’s “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch,” by the Four Tops. Stroup is the Tammi Terrell to Dabbs’ Marvin Gaye, the Carla Thomas to his Otis Redding. As Sugar the Hi-Lows, they play songs inspired by ’60s soul and R&B, as a means of trying to recreate that feeling they get when they hear Gaye or the Four Tops or the Chi-Lites. Not that Sugar + the Hi-Lows is a reaction against any perceived Nashville sound or approach. Dabbs and Stroup are thoroughly entrenched in the music industry: Both are solo artists and songwriters working just on the periphery of the mainstream. Stroup released her full-length solo debut, The Other Side of Love Sessions, just last year, and Dabbs, with five solo releases to his name, co-founded and co-manages (with his wife) Ten Out of Tenn, a regular tour featuring unsigned local singer/songwriters.

Watch Sugar + The Hi-Lows at the Sennheiser & Paste Present the Stages on Sixth here.

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