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High Five! from Cabin Dogs

With two dogs, an 8-track recorder, and a book of old murder ballads, twin brothers Rich and Rob Kwait would start their musical journey circa 1998. Visiting mountain cabins from Vermont to Tennessee and listening to the country blues, the Philadelphia-based brothers would soon begin crafting songs of their own and bring them back to Philadelphia to play for friends on the stoop. After two limited release albums under the Kwait Brothers Band name and the death of their two dogs, Cornelius and Leonardo, Rich and Rob retreated back to the mountains, this time in Upstate New York, to recuperate, reflect, and craft new songs for their latest project, Cabin Dogs. In this week's High Five!, Rich and Rob Kwait draw on their favorite memories of the past, to explain how Cabin Dogs came to be:

 

1. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry



This is an epic novel of a lost time in America just after the Civil War, full of
colorful characters, settings, stories, and sub-stories, which have inspired many of our songs. There is an interesting dynamic between the two lead characters, not unlike the dynamic
between the two leaders of a band. Lonesome Dove is a perfect book on tape that creates a soundtrack for traveling through the rural parts of the country. We listened to the
book over two writing trips to Au Sable Forks, New York and to Pigeon Forge,
Tennessee.

2. Grateful Dead - Cornell's Barton Hall, 1977 

Grateful Dead achieved new heights on their '77 tour, as exemplified by
this classic show. The mix of cowboy twang and disco have inspired some of the work of the Kwait Brothers Band and our Cabin Dogs songs today. This particular show brings special meaning to us, since Rob attended Cornell and we have travelled up near Ithaca to write songs. The latest trip was made last summer to Trumansburg, NY, a cool "unknown" town 15 minutes up the lake from Cornell and home of the Rongovian Embassy, The Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music & DanceDemolition Derbies, good coffee, and the center of the organic/locally grown grass fed movement. This town also provided the setting for most of the band's "Twilight" video. There must be something in the air up there!


3. Wiffle Ball

Hands down, Wiffle Ball is the greatest sport of all time. In fact, we think it should be in the Olympics. I've wasted many hours during the '80s, standing in the driveway perfecting all kinds of pitches, while listening to cassette mix tapes. Nowadays, you can find the Cabin Dogs somewhere near Phoenicia, NY, staging a wiffle ball game.

 

4. Delaware Water Gap 
This is a beautiful spot between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Legend has it that you can see the head of an old Native American chief carved on one side of the Delaware Water Gap. Storms have been known to whip around here in a matter of seconds. We used to lead canoe trips through the Gap for many summers and still return to the river for occasional canoe trips, golf outings, and writing sessions. Also, the town of Water Gap is home of the best jazz spot in the Poconos, the Deer Head Inn. The Appalachian Trail runs right through the town, creating such a beautiful backdrop that it became the site of Rich's wedding.

 

5. The Three Stooges - "Swinging The Alphabet"

There is a secret Three Stooges museum called The Stoogeum in Ambler, PA, about five minutes from our boyhood home. "Swinging The Alphabet" is a classic, rare Three Stooges episode that exemplifies the Stooges' comic and musical genius and provides an excellent way for kids to learn the alphabet. 

 

 

This week's High Five! is brought to you by: Cabin Dogs with Lauren Mercury Roberts

To celebrate the end of the nine to five, a Green Light Go staff member or artist will leave you with their short list of favorite things, better known as the High Five!

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Lauren is the Blogger-in-Chief at Green Light Go.

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