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Show Review – Dawes at the Royale – Boston, MA

How Far We’ve Come
When My Time Comes

If you haven’t heard of Dawes, now would be the time.  A fusion of country and rock, Dawes (not a last name but a middle name) pays homage to musical influences from CSN to  Dylan.  They’ve got a dusty, timeless feel to them; but anyone that has experienced their live shows knows they put on a show that is nothing but electric.  Listening to their recorded album, North Hills, you can get a sense of what these guys are all about.  An americana feel with excellent writing, written mostly by frontman Taylor Goldsmith.

After seeing what could have been the best set at Newport Folk Festival this past summer, I was expectedly excited for an evening with Dawes at the Royale here in Boston.

The energy in the room was great, and apparently Dawes cashed in on their success at Newport, there were plenty of people in the crowd eagerly awaiting them to take stage.   Crowd pleasers like, “My Girl to Me,” and when drummer Griffin sang “How Far We’ve Come” took the crowd by the metaphorical horns.  Griffin was surprisingly fantastic from behind the kit echoing his inner Levon, bringing the crowd into a 500 person harmony.   New track “Fire Away,” which one can assume will be on the forthcoming album was warmly received by the excited fans, but as the night came to an near end, the band dropped “When My Time Comes” their most popular song, a boisterous yet ruminative track about life and death.  The crowd all standing on their toes singing along at the top of their lungs, it was exactly what they had been looking for.

On the encore, the sing-along “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which left us all in bliss back in Newport, was epilogue to a fantastic night that won’t soon be forgotten, in the end, “it’s gonna be alright.”

You can truly see these guys have something special, and are hands down one of the best young bands out there today.

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Black Dub – I Believe In You

I Believe In You Check out the first single ‘I Believe in You,’ from Black Dub,  the new quartet helmed by  guitarist and Grammy award-winning producer Daniel Lanois. They are hitting the road this November in support of their self titled debut album. The tour will kick off November 15 in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club and finish up in Minneapolis on November 24.  Black Dub combines tripped-out soul with flourishes of rock ‘n’ roll and Jamaican dub for a sound that’s elegant and entrancing. The band features Lanois on guitar, New Orleans virtuoso Brian Blade, a seasoned musician who has…

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Junip at the Royale with Sharon Van Etten

Playing to an ecstatic crowd, Junip hit the Royale last night for their first stop on a cross-country tour. An intimate evening of music was the perfect way to spend this cold Boston night.

First up was the relatively unassuming Sharon Van Etten. To date, I had only heard a small sample of her music, specifically her track Don’t Do It. For fans of acoustic guitar singer-songwriters, Van Etten has a great expressive voice and plays a traditional folk style. But on this night, she was backed by a band, plugged in and, as her mom puts it, “rocking out.” Carefully tuning between songs, she seemed a bit nervous with the silence of the room. Song after song, gaining rapport with the crowd, she became more at ease. The crowd loosened, and soon everyone was sold on her talent.

When Junip’s members arrived on stage, the crowd sure did multiply. It got a lot more packed in, and people were chomping at the bit to hear Jose Gonzalez’ smooth vocals and the ambient sounds of his band. Backed by Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards), and Elias Araya (drums), Gonzalez began the set with a single strum of his guitar, opening with Rope & Summit from their new album Fields. Instantly recognizable, the crowd hung on every one of Gonzalez’ gossamer words. The band filled in the sound with atmospheric keyboards and light bongos, and the room came to life. Minutes into their set, Junip’s ability to simply and elegantly layer together latin jazz guitar, electronic keyboards and percussion shone.

The crowd totally ate it up, even with the band’s calm, chill demeanor. Everyone was fully with Junip. The entire crowd swayed and bopped through an hour-long sonic journey capped off by a three-song encore including breakout single, “Chickens.”

Although their success is slightly hinged on Gonzalez’ popularity, these guys put together a sound that is unlike anything out there. Last night was the first stop on their North American tour; they will cross the continent twice, deploying their special brand of electronic and latin-infused folk, and are certainly worth the price of admission.

Listen to Junip’s Always, or buy the album here
.

Check out Junip in your neck of the woods:

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Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Sink / Let it Sway

New video from SSLYBY, for their track “Sink / Let it Sway.”  Fans of action films, specifically ‘Point Break’ will be more than excited for this. In email, the band mentioned this: The video was directed by our good friend Brook Linder (who also directed “Modern Mystery” and “Glue Girls”). It’s like Die Hard 3 meets Point Break meets Lethal Weapon 2 meets True Lies. There were a few casualties: Jonathan messed up his ankle, John bit part of tongue off jumping from a chain link fence, and Will almost broke his hand again. Hopefully we won’t get sued by…

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Upcoming Show | Junip

Always In Every Direction Junip is a project featuring Swedish singer José González and some his closest friends. The band began 10 years ago, but was sidetracked by the success González found with his solo projects, particularly his album Veneer.  Formed in Sweden in the late 90’s the alt / acoustic folk band released their most recent album Fields in September 2010. The band plays mellow yet danceable folk with a worldly rhythm bringing a Latin jazz feel to each song. The work of keyboardist Tobias Winterkorn injects rich,  ambient sounds while all is complemented with Gonzalez’ soft vocals that have a…

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October Mixtape

This is my October mixtape.  It’s full of songs I really enjoyed over this fantastic month.  I took great care in putting this together, and hope that you enjoy it. Tracklist: Cold War Kids – Royal Blue Alexander Ebert – Truth Girls – Heartbreaker Bad Books – You Wouldn’t Have to Ask He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – Coattails Generationals – Trust Black Dub – I Believe in You Ima Robot – Life is Short Freelance Whales – Enzymes Mayer Hawthorne – No Strings Francis and the Lights – Darling, It’s Alright Free Energy – Free Energy (Bodega Girls…

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Electric Owls – When I Was a Flood

When I Was a Flood Electric Owls’ new Cullowhee Songs EP will be released on Vagrant on Nov 9 digitally and on vinyl via the band’s website (www.ElectricOwls.com). If you are unfamiliar with them, Electric Owls is a side project lead by Andy Herrod of The Comas.  The first single off of the EP is When I Was a Flood, and it reminds me of the sound Freelance Whales, a blend of electronic and folk elements (banjo in this case.) The Electric Owls project, recorded in Asheville, NC with Herrod, and some friends.  Written over the last few months that also served…

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