Sugar + the Hi-Lows is the collaborative project fronted by Nashville singer/songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup.
Dabbs is originally from Jackson, Mississippi and grew up listening to the soul and Motown records in his father's collection. He taught himself to play guitar; Jeff Buckley's music inspired him to start writing songs. In college, he was in a band called Kelly Wingate that made three albums. He released his first solo album, Quite Often, in 2005, shortly before moving to Nashville. Since then, he's released five more albums on his own Ready Set label -- What's Golden Above Ground, Decade Fades, Your Side Now, Transition, and Southerner. Southerner was on the digital list of Best Indie Artist Albums of 2011. Dabbs has placed songs on Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, and other TV shows. He's also written songs for other Nashville pop artists, including Amy Stroup. He a founding member of the collective Ten Out of Tenn, which has included Butterfly Boucher and Gabe Dixon in its ranks. Stroup was born in Boston and moved around the country with her family, landing in Nashville when she was 18. She's classically trained on piano and studied classical guitar at Lipscomb University. While she was still in college, she worked with producer Nathan Chapman. Her first album, Chasing Greenlights, came out in 2006. After graduation, she started co-writing with several other young artists, including Dabbs. Her second album, The Other Side of Love Sessions, was released in 2011. The songs from her albums have been used in numerous indie films and on commercials and TV shows, including Parenthood and Gray's Anatomy. Stroup and Dabbs started co-writing for TV shows in a style Dabbs called "Heavy Mellow," but as their collaboration evolved, they began writing more playful pop-oriented tunes as well. They started Sugar + the Hi-Lows to record their upbeat blend of pop, folk, soul, rock, gospel, rockabilly, and R&B. They cut the album's basic tracks in one day and brought in drummer Ian Fitchuck, guitarist Kyle Ryan, and bass player Adam Popick to flesh out their modern/retro sound. The eponymous album was released on Valentine's Day in 2012. ~ j. poet, Rovi