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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsBandleader Taylor Goldsmith reminded the sold-out crowd at the Crescent Ballroom that it had been four years since Dawes has played in Phoenix, AZ. This was the last stop of their summer tour before heading to Europe. Dawes has been on the road supporting their latest album release, All Your Favorite Bands.
The show opened with singer/ guitarist Blake Mills and his touring crew Tyler Chester on keyboards, guitar, and percussion and Stuart Johnson on drums. All were very accomplished musicians. Mills' great guitar chops were apparent from the beginning of his set. Rolling Stone reported Eric Clapton as saying that Mills is "the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal." Mills used to play with Dawes when they were known as 'Simon Dawes.' The highlights from the laid back set included a Joe Tex cover of "I'll Never Do You Wrong" and Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece," His slide guitar work definitely warrants more investigation!
The California folk, rock-band, Dawes, has been enjoying success for a short time. Their hit songs, "From a Window" and "Some People" from the album, Stories Don't End brought them to national attention in 2013. Both songs have Taylor Goldsmith sounding more like Jackson Browne than Jackson Browne. Also, Taylor Goldsmith was included in the "From the New Basement Tapes" project released this year of uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 during which time he recorded tracks for his 1975 album The Basement Tapes.. It has been a busy year for the band and that does not seem to have an end in sight.
Dawes modestly entered the cramped stage with a rowdy audience of eager fans and launched the first song of the set "Things Happen" from their latest album release. The band has recently added guitarist Duane Betts, son of Allman Brothers' Dickey Betts, to their ensemble. Core band members include piano player Tay Strathairn, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Geiber, and Taylor Goldsmith on guitar and lead vocals.
The band rolled from one song to next without much banter and they gained momentum as the show progressed. This band does not have wild edgy stage antics. They lean toward warm, heartfelt songs with a steady beat. Duane Betts' guitar did add more of a creative jam to the set. Two-thirds into the set, Blake Mills and his drummer joined Dawes for the rest of the set. The sound system was limited making the vocals come across muddy at times and the lighting was also a challenge. However, regardless of the limitations of the room, it was obvious the band was enjoying themselves as much as the crowd.
Set list for Dawes:
1. Things Happen
2. If I Wanted Someone
3. Right on Time
4. Somewhere Along the Way
5. My Girl To Me
6. Fire Away
7. Now That It's Too Late, Maria
8. From A Window Seat 9. Fisherman's Blues (The Waterboys cover)
10. Most People
11. Time Spent in Los Angeles
12. A Little Bit of Everything
13. When My Time Comes
14. From The Right Angle
15. All Your Favorite Bands
Set list for Blake Mills:
1. If I'm Unworthy
3. Hey Lover
4. I'll Never Do You Wrong (Joe Tex cover)
5. Gold Coast Sinkin'
6. When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan cover)
7. Women Know
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