Capital Times – Dawes Feature
Dawes brings spirit of their favorite bands to Capitol Theater
June 18, 2015 10:00 am • JOSHUA M. MILLER | Special to the Cap Times
Description: Feature on California band Dawes about 2015 album.
Dawes has steadily built its reputation over the years as one of America’s best live bands.
So it’s fitting that, for the Los Angeles folk-rock band Dawes’ fourth album “All Your Favorite Bands,” released earlier this month on their own HUB Records, the group opted to let their live performances shape the album in a big way.
It was a process, fittingly, inspired by all their favorite bands.
“I know that my favorite bands are a really deep part of who I am,” singer-songwriter Taylor Goldsmith said in the album’s press release. “They help define me, they help represent me, they trigger certain emotional memories, and they stand for the ideals and lifestyle that I will always hope to achieve. To me, the statement of ‘All Your Favorite Bands’ immediately gets down to a highly personal and singular part of anybody in a way that few other concepts can.”
His brother, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, said in a phone interview that he was tickled at the low-hanging fruit the title offered up to its detractors.
“I think part of me enjoyed the ridiculous implications of the line when taken out of context, and the easy-to-use ammo it provided for critics,” Griffin said.
Dawes has been playing steadily larger venues every time they’ve passed through Madison, going from the High Noon Saloon to the Barrymore Theatre and now to the Capitol Theater at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Before the group went into the studio in Nashville, they went on the road for a two-week tour of small clubs in California.
“The experience was great,” Griffin Goldsmith said. “We had our producer Dave Rawlings come out with us so we were able to workshop a lot. The input we got is invaluable.”
Rawlings would stand in the crowd and take notes. With each show, the band road-tested the new material and gained confidence in playing them together as a unit. They would discuss the songs and experiment with them until they were truly satisfied.
“Based on the response of the audience we would adjust accordingly,” Griffin Goldsmith said. “It definitely affected everything with the arrangement for the songs. We did everything naturally to cut it live on this record. It was a more natural way of doing things to record it like that.”
Adding to the album’s live sound was Taylor Goldsmith’s experience playing on the all-star “New Basement Tapes” album, in which he collaborated with Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello, Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens to bring unreleased Bob Dylan songs to life. Goldsmith applied some of the lessons of spontaneity and natural interaction he learned for this album.
“He was forced to sing and play solos live,” Griffin Goldsmith said of the “Tapes” sessions. “That project was more spontaneous than anything he had previously been involved with. It made him more comfortable as a player, which carried over into the making of our record.”
While the Goldsmith brothers are too modest to assume that Dawes might be anyone’s favorite band, Dawes has its share of admirers. Robbie Robertson of the Band liked the band enough to ask them to be his backing band on a recent tour.
“It’s beyond our wildest dreams,” Griffin Goldsmith said of the experience. “Those kind of accolades drive us to be better players. We’ve been afforded the opportunity to see what it takes for artists like that to achieve the things that they have achieved. We love what we do and we hope to do it for as long as we can.”