This week, I gush over Dawes...
When I'm not making music (check out my links to the right) I'm loving it, and this week I choose to gush over Dawes. A few posts ago, I eluded to my love for a band called Dawes. I referenced how they reminded me of THE BAND, "post-Hawks," and I mentioned that I'd post more on them. Well, seeing as their television debut was last night with Craig Ferguson...their time has come:
These fellas are from California. I read about them in a music magazine back in early Fall. I bought the record, "North Hills," and dug it. They came to Brooklyn's Bell House later that month, and I was blown away.
As an aside, never in my life have I thought I'd be "the guy who hands out demos" but when I went to see this band, I was just starting to become that guy...not a choice, it had to be done. I always thought it was annoying, and I still think it is...but these days I am of the "you never know" school of thought, and as irritating as it can be, you can't get anywhere if nobody knows you exist. Put yourself out there, anyway you can. THAT said, this marked the beginning of a new era for me...the era of not knowing what the F$%# to say when you're face to face with a hot new band/label person/established band to whom you're handing a demo. I won't say I handled myself poorly but I was definitely unprepared, and if I may say so myself, I remain unprepared for those situations to this day. I work at a NYC radio station, I hand out a lot of demos, and very rarely do I sit down afterward and think, "that went well."
But, as usual, I digress...
Their record has very Richard Manuel piano parts, the harmonies are amazing, beautiful songwriting and the songs have a verrrrry woodsy, mid to late 60s vibe. I was fortunate enough to catch them early on, opening for Langhorne Slim and while there was a decent crowd of folks to see Dawes, it wasn't so much that you were constricted, shoulder to shoulder to see the show. Also, the Bell House has Old Speckled Hen in a can, tasty. They came out, loaded in their own equipment, killed, and loaded out. While on stage, they announced that they'd be doing a show later that night around 1am in NYC. Turns out it was their record label reps birthday, and he had them play for it. It was a free show, and hell yea I went. Drove through Queens, picked up the lil' lady and hit NYC. Same routine, they pulled up, loaded in all their shit, same outfits, messed up hair, plugged in and BAM. Just when you think you cant be blown away any further...they started playing cover after cover after cover. From The James Gang's "Funk #49" to John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" to CCR's "Born On The Bayou" (i think, i can't exactly remember the song) and finally, a cover they've become known for, Joe Cocker's version of "With A Little Help From My Friends" that is so SPOT ON, you won't believe it.
Needless to say, but I will, they instantly became my new favorite band. Won over in one night's time. I'm sure the experience was enhanced due to it being Fall, and the music fitting so perfectly. Right place, right time. Did I make a fool of myself after the show, bumbling and handing the lead singer, Taylor Goldsmith, demo? Maybe. Did I rush home between the Brooklyn show & the NYC show to quickly record 3 newer songs so I could hand him something current from me? Maybe. Is there anything he can do for my future? Probably not, but maybe after 3 more demos from me, he'll know my name, and tell someone, and that someone will know someone else, and so on.
So, that concludes this weeks gushing session. Buy Dawes music. Here's their performance from last night:
see you soon,