My father once told me that “no idea is original”, later Nas added; “there is nothing new under the sun is never what you do but how its done.” Over the last 20 years this statement has become more and more true. We live in the age of samples, remakes and do overs. Thought Process = It was once good, bring it back, it shall be good again.
To simply repackage and redeliver old ideas is a thriving business. However it is an entirely other thing to take the feel of what was all around you growing up to revive spirit and influence culture. DAWES is a perfect example of this as they are said to be influenced by their hometown in California, Laurel Canyon. The infamous region that produced some of music’s greatest musicians; Joni Mitchell, The Eagles, Jackson Brown, Nash, Crosby, Fleetwood Mac etc.
This was the epicenter of easy listening, lyrically insightful, free-loving music. Dawe’s Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith grew up in the remnants of this era. The neighborhood was still buzzing with past guitar twangs, ghostly stained white lines on counter tops and vibes of ecstasy in the air when they were still playing reindeer games. There is no wonder the music of this band wears the spirit of another era. Many dreams have started and ended in California.
I came across the band on a recommendation from one of my favourite bands, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. As they winded down a early power set Saturday, Jan 29th, 2011 at Venue Nightclub in Vancouver, Canada. Grace invited everyone to come party with them to the music of a great band named Dawes. Now I don’t know if you have seen Grace and more importantly I don’t know if you’ve seen her perform but when she commands, one must obey. Yum.
So off we went to check out Dawes. The moment I walked in Dawes held something over me. Like the lure of a cool pool on a hot summer day with bikinis floating in the water and shady areas of half naked bodies, guitars, cigarettes and warming beers. No one wants to go home, leave or think of having to go home. The moment is enough and all. We bopped along to “Love is All I Am“, “It’s Gonna Be Alright” amongst many others. The boys made their guitars purr with skill and each song was creatively arranged, pounding with talent and skill — wicked show.
The simple approach of this band is so damn fresh. The wistful daydream that their folk, jazz, rock with occasional country twangs emote is unique, familiar and original. When people say they remind them of older bands I would say perhaps. Or perhaps they are simply relighting the torch. Another emerging band from a region that encourages the creative thought that can create a kind of wonder. Lustful tunes to hum, strum and chum to. Something in the water?
#Take Notice of Dawes and some of these cold Vancouver days may start to feel a little like the middle of July.
Photo 1 courtesy of playbsides on Flickr.
Photo 2 courtesy of ACL Festivals on Flickr.