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Kategory 5 Shares Their All-Time Top 10 Tunes

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There is a reason Kategory 5 is the band to watch: The six members have a wide range of influences and tastes, which is reflected in their playlist and original music, and they have musical chops that helped them beat out all comers for the title of WMGK House Band two years ago. “Our original music doesn’t have one sound, as we all bring a plethora of influences into the creative process,” says singer Kat Pigliacampi. Which makes it hard to choose a Top 10. “That said, though, if we were shipwrecked on a desert island together, this is the list of songs we couldn’t survive without.”

 

1. “Call on Me,” Chicago

It was Kat’s 50th birthday wish to play her favorite Chicago tune at the Queen during a special concert. “It has catchy horn lines and a full percussion track,” she says. “We got to invite our great friends Rob Zinn, Don Brill and Kevin Lyons to fill out the horn lines, Pat Bush to play the keys, and Ritchie Rubini to play the bongos. It was a never-to-be-forgotten performance that was a bucket list song for me.”

 

2. “Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin

“It is the perfect marriage of lyric and music. I never get tired of listening to this song,” says Brian Becker. “Musically, it ranges from gentle Renaissance-influenced folk music to raging hard rock in eight minutes flat, moving from minor key verses to major key choruses effortlessly. Lyrically, while the song wanders and its meaning is elusive, every line paints a vivid picture. By being purposely vague, each listener is free to interpret it his or her own way, ensuring its timelessness.”

 

3. “Blinded By the Light,” Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

“The first time I heard it, I was 8 years old,” says lead singer and guitarist Chris Lewis. “It was on WIFI 92 FM in Philly all the time. My friends and I had a portable radio we would take with us as we explored our world, which for me was just off of Smalley’s Dam Road, and spent many days in the summer of 1976 listening to that song. Besides being a great cover of a well-written song, it is a nostalgic treat for me every time I hear it, and I sing it as loud as I can.”

 

4. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” Pink Floyd

“It has beautiful keyboards that set a peaceful mood, along with iconic guitar tones and melodies,” says barefoot bassist Kyle Frederick. “The guitar work alone can really take you somewhere else. It is a beautiful ode to a friend. I could listen to it over and over. We named our recording studio Crazy Diamond after this song.”

 

5. “Clair De Lune,” Claude Debussy

“As long as I can remember, this song has moved me,” Kat says. “It is so emotional and dynamic, it always stops me in my tracks when I hear it. When someone with great feel plays it on the piano, I can feel the notes speaking and nurturing my soul. The middle section is how I would picture a dream to be described without using words – beautiful”

 

6. “Carry On My Wayward Son,” Kansas

Drummer Al Mullins made the choice, but it is a overall band favorite because it embodies the sound of ’70’s prog rock. “What makes it special is how it came to be,” Al says. “Kansas had recorded its whole album and were getting ready to tear down the stuff in the studio when guitarist Kerry Livgren said, ‘Wait—I have an idea.’ He wrote the song on the spot and birthed the band’s biggest hit.”

 

7. “Water,” The Kiki Dee Band

My uncle had the 8-track,” says multi-instrumentalist and musical director John Cassidy. “Dad and Mom had the vinyl record and played it for me when I was a kid before I could play any instruments. The tremolo Fender Rhodes make the water sound, and Kiki’s voice is always beautiful.”

 

8. “Roundabout,” Yes

“This song really stretched us to learn as a group,” Kat says. “It is incredibly complex, and everyone must be at the top of their game to achieve this in totality. It is like the crowning jewel of progressive rock, with all of the elements present: soaring high-range vocals with huge harmonies, intricate guitar and bass work, exacting organ solos and piano swells, and complex drumming that goes into an almost tribal beat in the mid-section. All six of us have to sing the final harmonies together.”

 

9. “I’m Not in Love,” 10cc

“Al, our drummer, loves the song and suggested it to play,” Kat says. “We haven’t yet, as a group, but some of us have done it as a trio. The layered vocals and major 7th chords in the recording are captivating. John misheard the mid section of the girl talking in the song, and it has been something we continue to laugh about. Instead of hearing, ‘Be quiet, big boys don’t cry,’ he heard it as, ‘Be poised and quiet.’”

 

10. “Foreplay/Longtime,” Boston

“This was the first song we played together, and we realized it was the start of something special,” Kat says. It was also the song Kategory 5 submitted for the WMGK house band competition. “The day we actually won, we closed our set with that song—exactly 40 years from its release August 25, 1976. We didn’t realize that fact until after it happened. It was meant to be.”

See more 2018 Best of Delaware winners.

Photograph courtesy of Kategory 5

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