STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
“Philly’s always been great to us,” said Griffin Goldsmith, drummer and backing vocalist of the L.A. folk/rock outfit Dawes.
Touring behind their fourth album, “All Your Favorite Bands,” Dawes is set to play The Electric Factory July 16. “The show’s bigger and more exciting than before. You can expect a long set. We will obviously be enjoying ourselves,” Goldsmith said, noting that the band is particularly enthusiastic about “All Your Favorite Bands” because each song was recorded live, with everyone playing together in the studio.
Meanwhile, Dawes is already mixing tracks for their next album, according to Goldsmith.
Goldsmith’s brother, Taylor, is the quartet’s lead singer and principal songwriter. “There’s no barriers to what he’s OK with putting out there,” Goldsmith said of his brother’s emotionally engaged, sometimes heartbreakingly earnest songs, framed in the harmony-rich, vintage Laurel Canyon musical stylings associated with Crosby, Stills & Nash; Joni Mitchell; The Eagles and Jackson Browne.
Speaking of Jackson Browne, the singer/songwriter talked Dawes into joining him in playing a short, impromptu, joint acoustic set for those gathered at Occupy Wall Street in December 2011 (Check it out on YouTube). The band happened to be in New York for a scheduled show, Goldsmith said.
Aware that brothers that form bands together can make for volatile chemistry, Goldsmith says his brother is “amazing at resolving stuff.” “In our case, (having brothers in a band) couldn’t be better,” he said.
The band’s name comes from the first name of the Goldsmith brothers’ grandfather (It was also Taylor Goldsmith’s middle name, until he later had it changed). “He died when I was young, and he was a musician. We wanted to pay a homage to him,” he said.
In 2012, the band appeared on an episode of NBC’s “Parenthood.” “That was a trip,” remarked Goldsmith. “You think playing a song is the easiest (TV) role possible. It just exemplified how unprepared we were. It’s good for the band.”
On June 21, Dawes made a cover version of The Waterboys’ 1988 hit “Fisherman’s Blues” available for download for fans that donate to the charity Nothing But Nets, which partners with the United Nations Foundation to get protective bed nets to vulnerable refugees in Rwanda to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne malaria.
“They were interested in reaching a devoted fan base,” Goldsmith said of Nothing But Nets, adding that the band visited a refugee camp in 2013 and saw the impact of malaria firsthand.
Check out http://nothingbutnets.net/dawes. “Fisherman’s Blues” will be available until Aug. 20.