Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nothing is Wrong-Dawes

Nothing is Wrong is the latest album from the Los Angeles based band Dawes. This will be on my top albums of this year's list and I believe that the title of this album accurately describes the music. There is not a bad song or moment on the album. I have been encouraging all my music loving friends to go out and immediately buy it. They released the album during the summer of 2011 and I still listen to it almost daily. I usually will tire of albums after a few weeks, but this Dawes album keeps me engaged with their beautiful hooks and pertinent lyrics.

Dawes has a very Laurel Canyon sound in its music. When I first heard them I thought it sounded a lot like Jackson Browne. It evokes that sound, feel, and spirit from people like Browne, Joni Mitchell, and early country-folk Neil Young.To my surprise Jackson Browne is a guest on the new album. I would classify their sound as folk-rock. They will thrill you with their beautiful harmonies and earthy tones. Taylor Goldsmith is an amazing songwriter who is wise beyond his years.

Dawes includes brothers Taylor (vocals, guitar,songwriter) and Griffin (drums,vocals) Goldsmith. Wylie Gelber plays the bass and Tay Strathairn has just joined them on keyboards. The Goldsmith's father was in the Bay area legendary band Tower of Power. Taylor formed a band in high school named Simon Dawes which put out one album. After they broke up they formed the current band out of the ashes. They were signed to ATO Records which was co-founded by Dave Matthews. They released their first album North Hills in 2009. It created the Laurel Canyon sound and it resonated with a lot of other bands who took them out on tour. Langhorne Slim and Delta Spirit (both bands I have written about) were two of the bands who were impressed with their sound and presence and took them out with them as openers. As more people saw and heard them, they became the headliners. Enjoy the video “Time Spent In Los Angeles” from Nothing is Wrong:

The new album deals with a lot of their past two years in which they have been on the road. It was also recorded the old school way on analog equipment. I found the sound has a lot more depth than a lot of the newer albums have. It really brings them back to the Laurel Canyon sound. If you like what you hear from the video, run out to buy the CD. You won't regret it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Marriage Made in Rock & Blues Heaven

Imagine that one of Rolling Stone's top 100 guitarists of all time married a rock/blues singer who has been nominated for multiple grammy awards.  Imagine that after years of nurturing successful careers on their own that they worked together on an amazing project.  Stop imagining:

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedechi have formed the Tedechi Trucks Band.  It's an incredible union.
I love the sense of joy I feel from the music on Revelator, the Tedechi Trucks Band's joint venture. Independently, both Tedechi and Trucks work with terrific musicians. Just because two headliners, who happen to be married to each other, got excited about a joint project didn't mean that the members of each of their bands would share that excitement. The question of how well all of these musicians would collaborate begged to be asked.  Fortunately,  everyone involved in this project seems to be having a terrific time making great music.  Gary Louris of The Jayhawks (one of my and Fletcher's favorite bands) wrote several of the best songs on the album and I'm delighted to report that the Tedechi Trucks Band does beautiful justice to his writing.  It doesn't get much better than this.
I first became aware of Derek Trucks several years ago when I attended the World Guitar Congress at Towson University in 2004. In front of an audience of serious guitar mavens, Derek Trucks and his band put on a show that literally had several members of the audience bowing down in homage to them.

Derek Trucks was born in 1979.  His uncle, Butch Trucks is a drummer and a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.  Derek starting playing the guitar at age 9 and by the age of 12 was sitting in with his uncle Derek's band.  Derek formed his own band in 1994.  Derek met Susan Tedechi in 1999.

Susan Tedechi was born in 1970.  She graduated from the Berkelee College of Music at age 20 and formed her own band in 1994.  She and Derek married in 2001 and they have two children.

While it is quite a feat in itself that two rock musicians have maintained a marriage for 10 years it is even more impressive that they have been able to let go of their egos to produce such a fine album together.  My co-blogger Fletcher saw the Tedechi Trucks Band this summer in Baltimore.  Fletcher reports that "they slayed the audience.  They had their audience from their first song". I hope they continue to collaborate on future projects.

Elsewhere in the music world, there are two new releases that both Fletcher and I are both excited about:

Wilco:  The Whole Love
The Jayhawks: Mockingbird Time