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Tim Kaine’s Musical Obsessions: Senator Goes Deep on Top 5 Artists

Vice presidential candidate took a break from campaign trail to discuss Dave Matthews Band, Replacements and more

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Senator Tim Kaine, a lifelong music nut, discusses his five favorite acts, including the Replacements and Dave Matthews Band.

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If elected, Tim Kaine will be the most music-savvy VP in American history. He plays blues harmonica, and he's an obsessive listener who keeps up with new artists (current indie fave: Lucy Dacus). "When I first ran for governor of Virginia I started playing with bluegrass bands all over the state because we have so many festivals," he says on the phone from the campaign trail. "I have six in my briefcase at all times. Even though I'm not very good, bands just kept saying, 'Come on up.'" We asked him to list his five favorite artists, in no particular order. "Twenty would have been easier," he says. "But this is more fun than lots of other stuff I have to talk about." 

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Charlie Parker

When he was in Kansas City, Parker was not thought of as a very good musician because he wanted to do something different than everyone else. He worked endlessly on what became bop, which was revolutionary. He was like, "This is the way I hear it, this is the way I'm gonna play it, whether you like it or not." I don't know that you would have Jimi Hendrix if not for bop. Parker had a tragic life, obviously, but his commitment to his sound was very strong, and I have a huge admiration for him. Listen to "Relaxin' at Camarillo" or "Cool Blues" and you can see that the guy isn't just a really good sax player, but also a really good writer. 

Watch Tim Kaine talk Trump at vice presidential debate.

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