Beardy guitarist (and Stanley Cup-winning goaltender) Braden Holtby shared his Top 10 favorite songs on Spotify earlier this week.
The playlist includes one of the most influential figures in jazz history (Louie Armstrong), a couple of guitar rock legends (Jack White and Gary Clark Jr.), and some folksy newcomers (pretty much everyone else).
Holtby explained his choices in a feature in the Capitals’ new yearbook, W Magazine. I also reached out to two professional rock stars and Capitals fans, Camden Welle’s Andy Tongren (lead singer/guitarist/handsome guy/producer) and Steve Patrick (drummer), to evaluate the goaltender’s picks.
Sturgill Simpson’s “Call To Arms” was Braden Holtby’s favorite song because its lyrics and energy are “incredibly cohesive.”
I turned to the band members for their analysis.
“I don’t honestly know much about Sturgill Simpson other than the fact that he can grow a pretty exceptional mustache,” Steve Patrick, the nephew of Capitals’ President Dick Patrick, said in a very unhelpful quote.
“I don’t know much about Sturgill either,” Andy Tongren said. “But he makes me want to ride a motorcycle then drink a bunch of bourbon though. One of his listed genres on Wikipedia is ‘outlaw country’ and I think that’s pretty dang neat.”
Filling out the top three for Holtby was Louie Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” (Holtby’s grandfather’s favorite artist) and Gary Clark Jr.’s “Numb (live)” who he called the best artist he’s ever seen play.
“Black and Blu is my favorite Gary Clarke Jr. album and it was cool to see him pick something off that record,” Tongren said. “But, I’m glad he chose the live album version because it’s Gary Clark Jr. and he’s a beast live.”
Next, Holtby chose The Avett Brothers “Murder In The City” fourth and City and Colour’s “We Found Each Other In The Dark” fifth. Holtby noted that he’s a good friend of the City and Colour’s lead singer, Dallas Green. Green provided Holtby with a private recording of “The Girl” to surprise and thank his wife Brandi in 2018.
“City and Colour is actually really cool. Dallas Green is from Alexisonfire,” Patrick said. “I got into City and Colour because I loved Alexisonfire when I was a little scene boy. City and Colour was like my first intro into folk music.”
“I just know I had the tightest jeans and a chemically straightened helmet of hair and I f*cking loved that band,” Patrick added. “And City and Colour introduced me into folk music sort of accidentally. I don’t know City and Colour is considered folk but it made me realize I liked that sound and started searching for other similar artists. Now I pretty exclusively listen to folk music!”
Holtby next picked Colter Wall’s “Sleeping On The Blacktop”, “Do You Remember” by Jack Johnson (Holtby credited this song for making him learn how to play guitar), The White Stripes’ “Hello Operator”, and Matchbox Twenty’s “Hand Me Down.”
Tongren and Patrick called the latter picks “safe”
“I mean, Matchbox Twenty is Matchbox Twenty. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re just very safe,” Patrick said. “The White Stripes are great pump up music. I feel like you can pull any of their songs out of a hat and it makes you want to run through a wall.”
Finally, Holtby closed out his Top 10 list with The Tragically Hip’s “Poets”, a nod to Gord Downie who, in Holtby’s words, was an “incredibly amazing human” and personal friend. Holtby raised $21k for Downie’s charity with a game-worn mask before the lead singer passed away in 2017.
“My overall impression of the playlist… I now understand how Braden Holtby can possess such a powerful beard,” Tongren said.
“This isn’t bad but I draw the line at Jack Johnson,” Patrick said.
“He gets lots of points for City and Colour and Gary Clark Jr.,” Tongren said. “But because of Jack Johnson I wouldn’t call it a shutout. A really strong .948 save percentage.”
Andy Tongren and Steve Patrick perform in the band Camden Welles. You can listen to their latest song “Pretty Ugly” below. (It’s really good!)
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