Author: Crawford Byers
Swapping Songs with Conor Oberst
From the Bullpen # 10
As far as I’m concerned, between Bright Eyes and his solo records, Conor Oberst is one of the greatest songwriters that has played the game. I remember hearing Fevers and Mirrors when I was 16 and feeling my sense of song permanently rewired. So it was a big deal for me when went on tour with Conor as the opening act as well as his band. To celebrate our worlds coming together we decided to cover one of each other’s tunes and release it as a limited 7 inch. We tried our best to make Easy/Lucky/Free sound like a Dawes song and Conor did the same thing to Million Dollar Bill. Happy to bring these recordings back to life.
Art by Ian Bush
Nothing Is Wrong Deluxe Vinyl (Limited Edition )
‘Nothing Is Wrong (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)’ out now on LP & digital!
-2 creamy white LP’s in a deluxe die-cut jacket w/ front window and gold foil
-Bonus 7” with B-sides “Strangers Getting Stranger” and “Rest Easy”
-New and enhanced album art
-Custom inner-sleeves with new liner notes by Taylor
-Includes digital download with 4 ‘NIW’ session B-sides
Listen & Order Your Copy at https://found.ee/Dawes10thNothingIsWrong
Sound checks, curb sides, hotel rooms, and especially the back row of the van…that’s where all these songs got worked through and finalized. Our only clear objective was filling the holes in the live set. More than half of that first record is either very slow or very soft. Meanwhile we were becoming a rock and roll band that wanted to play loud. We wanted the songs to be bigger, faster, louder. So that’s how I tried to write. I remember putting together the outro to Fire Away and dreaming about what it would sound like on a stage. Those were the moments we were looking for. Finally, after road testing each song ad nauseam (except Little Bit of Everything – that one was written the day before it was recorded) we took them back to our trusted producer Jonathan Wilson and spent a brisk month getting them all down to tape.
The songs themselves were coming straight out of my life at the time. No one was safe. If I shared a particularly lively conversation with someone or even a more intimate encounter, it was all immediately fair game. My parameters for discretion were not quite established yet. It took me a second too long to realize how voyeuristic being a writer could be. I still needed to figure out how to add a layer or two to an emotion, how to express myself without putting all my cards on the table at every opportunity. But maybe that’s what being 25 is all about. All the rest would come later. I’m just glad it’s all there for us to reach back into on any given night. Each record has been a turning point and something of a growth spurt, but maybe none as pivotal as Nothing Is Wrong was for us. That was the moment where we could see ourselves turning from hopeful upstarts into lifers. Glad it’s still worth talking about 10 years later.
Covering The Waterboys ‘Fisherman’s Blues’
From the Bullpen #8 (Click Here to Listen)
I remember hearing The Waterboys for the first time. It was embarrassingly recent. I had the radio on, which is rare these days, and on came The Whole of the Moon. I fell in love in a way that’s harder and harder to do as I get older. It was that very special adolescent feeling of coming across something that speaks to you and for you. I immediately did a deep dive. Studied the records, even read Mike Scott’s autobiography and finally ended up playing this song in a rehearsal one day. It started with Griff’s drum part. Then I started playing the changes and everyone fell in and we’ve played it the same way ever since. This must have been sometime in 2015. Duane Betts was in the line up helping us bring this one to life each night. It’s the only cover we’ve done that felt like it was ours. Covers can sometimes just feel approximations or hat tips, which are great. This felt like we created something that belonged to us. Obviously indebted to the Waterboys masterful version. But it felt like we found something that could sit well next to any of our songs on a setlist. It often still does. Happy to be sharing the recording with you.
As happened when it was first released back in 2016, all proceeds will go to Nothing But Nets; the world’s largest grassroots campaign fighting to end malaria, a preventable disease which claims the life of a child every two minutes. Nothing But Nets brings together UN partners, advocates, celebrity champions, donors, and organizations to raise awareness, funds, and voices to protect vulnerable families from malaria. Learn more at nothingbutnets.net
Listen at https://found.ee/DawesFishermansBlues
Phil Lesh & Friends in Nashville
When we met Phil Lesh at a show we were all on, I figured that was as good as it could ever get. Turns out I was wrong. We are beyond honored to be playing these shows along with Nicki Bluhm & Grahame Lesh….
GRAB TICKETS HERE Without love in the dream it’ll never come true
Petty Rips mini-EP ft ‘Walls’
From the Bullpen #6 (LISTEN HERE)
Last year we were asked to contribute to Tom Petty’s 70th Birthday Bash hosted by Sirius XM. We chose to record his tune Walls from the She’s The One soundtrack. That final verse – “Some things are over / Some things go on / Part of me you carry / Part of me is gone” – had brought me to tears on several occasions after his passing in the new unintended context I was hearing it in. His songs have such an incredible ability to be about everything at once and this was always one of my favorite examples (He’s also the king of the third verse if you really look into it – Insider, Walls, Free Fallin’ etc. – I promise, it bears out). On the original recording Lindsey Buckingham does all the insane background vocal layering, so in that same spirit we invited our buddy Mike Viola to join in on it and go nuts. It’s my favorite part of the recording for sure.
We never crossed paths with Petty himself but got close with Benmont Tench over the years (he’s even playing organ on a few songs on Nothing Is Wrong) and at some point in 2017 we cut this mighty version of Mistakes We Should Have Made with Mike Campbell in the producer’s chair. We even got to cut it at his home studio where they made most of not all of Full Moon Fever…
Anyway, we thought these two songs together could be a bit of a two-part hat tip to Petty and the Heartbreakers. What they’ve given us, what they’ve meant to us and what they still mean to us could never be fully expressed. We’ll always have deepest of gratitude….
Hope you all enjoy!
Listen at https://found.ee/dawes_pettyrips
Experience Lee’s Solo Piano
Listen at https://found.ee/DawesSketches
I’m pretty sure that for a lot of people the best part of a Dawes show is when the 4 of us step into the shadows to let Lee Pardini do whatever the fuck he wants while leading us from one song to another. If anyone can ever see my face in those moments, I’m usually sharing a dumbfounded, jaw dropped smile with one of the other guys as we all marvel at his excellence.
For this next From The Bullpen release (officially #5 if we retroactively start our counting with that Feed The Fire single package), Lee has recorded Didn’t Fix Me and Me Especially as solo piano pieces. It’s an experience not unlike having only the strawberry Starburst while not having to bother with any of the lesser flavors. Just an unadulterated, one on one reckoning between you and the forever Dawes MVP.
When you have material this good it makes it easy. Re-interpreting songs I love has always been something I’ve done, but I’ve never had the privilege of being in the band who’s songs I’d be re-working.
Dawes is a special band in regards to how we approach songs night after night. No show is the same, no song has ever been played the same way twice. Although on the surface the style of these solo piano versions may be different, the spirit remains the same- be present in the moment, and be open to all possibilities. I changed a key, added a chord, extended a rhythm, with the intention of exploring all that these songs have to offer. The way I see it, jazz and rock n roll are completely related, even inextricably tied together. They both contain elements of danger and fearlessness. At their best, they’re both reckless and thoughtful, more heart than brain.
Performed, produced, and engineered by Lee Pardini at Pardeffernan Studios.
Mixed by Dave Cerminara
Mastered by Paul Blakemore
Artwork by Ian Bush
Songs by Taylor Goldsmith
Dawes Fall Tour 2021
To our beloved audience, it is with excitement and delightment, that we are prepared to announce our first tour dates in for F#[email protected] ever! It’s time to hang up our Zooms and get back in some non chat style rooms. We’ll be joined by Erin Rae! ON SALE NOW RIGHT HERE (check out the VIP option where available)
May 1st LIVE from the Roxy
We’re gonna do another live stream. Last time we filmed it a few days before (but didn’t edit anything so it was still very much live) to make sure we didn’t get screwed by some faulty internet cable or a camera guy panning to me during a Trevor solo or something like that…but this time we’re gonna throw caution to the wind and stream it completely live. Missed chord? Forgotten lyric? Tough shit. That’s what this business is all about. What you’ll be seeing will be what’s happening in real time. All killer, no filter.
It’s gonna be at The Roxy here in Los Angeles. One of the first stages we ever played on as kids. May 1st. Reserve your spot now at https://nocap.show/dawes
Things Happen (Celeste Version)
Big big news. We have decided to release at least ONE thing a month for (at least) the rest of 2021. Last month it was the little Free As We Wanna Be Single EP, this month it’s Things Happen (Celeste), next month it’ll be something else. We already have it scheduled months out. Could be singles, could be a few songs, could be whole collections. We just have so many artifacts that are just sitting around from these last 12 years that we figured it’s time they started getting shared.
About this recording: This one must have been recorded sometime in early 2015. It’s just me singing Things Happen alone accompanying myself with a Celeste. We recorded it as a B-Side for a CD single version of TH that was only available at record stores while we were doing a run of in-stores for release week. So it’s not likely that too many of you have had the chance to hear it. Hope you enjoy it! This is just the beginning!
Artwork by the Top-5 human being Kevin Hayes from the original photo shoot he did for the All Your Favorite Bands album art.
We Have A Podcast!
When we talk to each other about our band, or just music as a whole, I feel like there is an added depth and level of comfort than there is when we’re talking to someone outside the band (nothing against interviews…I just think that’s the nature of conversations between people who know each other intimately). And yet, I don’t think we’ve ever brought anyone else into those conversations. So I sat down with each member of the band individually over the last several months and had a conversation. This first one is with Griff. We recorded it months before GLWW came out. The album barely comes up but we ended up finding several enjoyable threads to follow. Hope you dig it too…
LISTEN TO ‘EPISODE 1’ HERE
(Like this podcast image, designed by Michael Carney? It’s available on a t-shirt RIGHT HERE)
Catch ‘Free As We Wanna Be’ Acoustic + Live
Today we’re releasing Free As We Wanna Be as a single along with an acoustic version and a live version LISTEN HERE
Single version: Since this baby already clocks in at 3 minutes, you’ll be hard pressed to find any differences between it and the album cut. But I implore you to give it a re-listen anyway in this new context as a “single” rather than a Track-8-On-A-9-Song-Album. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it more. Maybe you’ll hate it more. Either way, the tiny space it takes up in your brain currently is begging to be re-shaped by this new digital packaging. LISTEN HERE
Acoustic version: When the Powers-That-Be hit me up again to record some sort of acoustic version of this song to include in this extended-single/mini-EP, I thought, “With MY pro-tools home rig? With these plug-ins? With THESE mics? No thanks!” But then I remembered I bought a 1979 Tascam Portastudio 4-Track Casette Recorder about a year ago but was too fearful to figure out how it worked. Until now. I dug into the instruction manual, I plugged my mic into my reverb tank, the reverb tank into the Tascam and did my best. You’re gonna hear a good amount of hiss, some weird ghost flares (maybe something to do with power in my house?), and way in the background you can sorta hear when I’m cutting in and out of overdubs. Suffice it to say: it’s scrappy. But I love it. It feels like a living recording. It’s the first thing I’ve ever made on this 4-Track and I’m damn proud of it. LISTEN HERE
Live Version: This was recorded the same day we made our North Hills live stream (for you Dawesians out there that were able to catch that set and know what I’m talking about). It’s live from the amphitheater at Griff’s and my old high school. Last time we were there was Griffin’s graduation when we were a few months away from recording North Hills back in 2008. Looking forward to getting this tune on the road so the live version can get hairier and hairier, but it feels good to have a documentation of what it sounded like the 4th time we ever played it live. LISTEN HERE
Watch! Dawes on Stephen Colbert
Happy we got to play this one for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert! #playathome
Our New Album IS HERE!
IT’S OUT! GO LISTEN! WE ARE SO HAPPY TO RELEASE IT TO THE WORLD! WE HOPE YOU LOVE IT! #goodluckwithwhatever
Right Here: https://found.ee/GLWWAlbum
Drive-In Shows: Oct 16 & Oct 17
So we finally are gonna play a couple live shows. It’s a real big deal for us. First time in front of an audience since this whole thing began. They are drive in shows though, so everyone will be safe in their cars. Hope you can join us! October 16th at Drive In at Cal State San Marcos & Oct 17 at 88FIVE LIVE at Drive In OC.
Details at https://found.ee/DAWESlive
‘Didn’t Fix Me’ + Animated Video
Listen! Still Feel Like A Kid
Watch! Dawes on Jimmy Kimmel Live
We had a blast playing Jimmy Kimmel Live with guest host Rob Lowe! Watch both tracks below.
Together Again August 28th
Dear World, we’ve missed you so.
Join us August 28th for a long awaited show.
Live from a rooftop
Straight to your laptop
Sit on the couch and throw down a coaster
Preorder tix now, a shirt, or a poster!
Lyric Video: St. Augustine at Night
New Single! Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?
I Will Run to Raise Funds
Listen at https://smarturl.it/Dawes-IWillRun
This one comes from the ‘Passwords’ sessions produced by Jonathan Wilson in late 2017. Didn’t seem to fit that batch of songs at the time, but happy to give it a life of its own now. A silly song about the irony of how much we depend on our pets love, considering that a lot of them would bolt if just given the chance. Hope it makes you smile during this weird time.
All proceeds from this release will benefit the North Shore Animal League America and the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund.
Dawes to Back Mandy Moore on Tour
UPDATE: These dates will be rescheduled due to Coronavirus, tba soon. Stay safe, everyone!
Looks like we’ll all have jobs through the summer til Dawes world kicks back into gear…thank God…
“I’ll be heading out on the road in less than a month! I’m sad to be leaving my 🐈🐈 but luckily I’ll be bringing some talented friends and family along with me… The Dawes gang – Taylor & Griffin Goldsmith, Lee Pardini & Wylie Gelber plus my dear friend Mike Viola ❤️ See you out there!” -Mandy Moore
📸 Jen Rosenstein