When Sarah-Bryan Lewis started writing stories 10 years ago, The Squid and the Whale wasn’t even a dream. Growing up in a tiny town in the fields of Georgia gave her a perspective and lasting foundation, but calling Hattiesburg her home since 2005 has added a level of complexity and daring to her craft. Through the years she has made music with The Narwhals, Barks at Dogs and sat in countless venues with her refurbished Guild acoustic and her voice to keep her company – yet she was still missing an element of synergy in her art.
Hearing her describe this new project is like hearing a 16-year old capture the visceral nature of driving her first country road with her childhood posse. She began collaborating with Jaime Jimenez in 2008, and realized she was drawn to his brilliant energy and dynamic approach to anything with keys. When Sarah wasn’t in a coffee shop, collaborating on a small business or walking dogs, she was sitting and writing the foundation of what would eventually become The Squid and the Whale with Jimenez.
In 2013, Jaime caught up with an old friend and musician at the local Farmers Market in downtown Hattiesburg – David Calvin Meigs. After a short conversation, David had the audacity to tell Jaime it was time for them to bring him into the mix. After a couple jam sessions, he was invited to join the two of them at several shows at The Skylight Lounge. David is an Oklahoma raised, Mississippi and Texas educated nomad of sorts who took a long path through Tulsa, Austin, Charlotte and the northeast before he found himself back in his alma mater. As a dreamer, pragmatist and artistic soul, having David in the mix keeps the true artists moving and shaking.
The last piece of the puzzle came in the form of a born and raised Poplarville, Mississippian, mechanical engineering, pedantic Dusty Weiss on drums. The Squid and the Whale was born out of a free-spirited woman, a charismatic bassist, a Puerto Rican maestro, and a good ol’ boy who likes to build stuff. Their energy and stage presence is engaging, and they even write catchy tunes. Take the next opportunity you have to experience a piece of arguably the most fertile music scene this side of the Mississippi River and south of Tennessee.