Handicapping the Next Dawes Album

Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes
Disclaimer: This blog does not condone the use of the information contained in this obviously well-researched article in wagering or betting– anyway, you’d probably have better odds going to the casino and not waste your hard-earned money betting on the track listing of a Dawes album. COME ON! Jeez.

September 28th, 2010 marked the day that Dawes and its management finally caved in to the demands of the taper who goes mostly by Morst to allow their shows to be uploaded to The Audio Archive at The Internet Archive (archive.org). This was a conversation that started back during the October 2009 Daytrotter.com Barnstormer shows where he taped their stop at Treinen Farm. I also recorded three of the shows that I saw on that mini-tour (Maquoketa, Green Island and West Liberty). I had been meaning to do the final editing of this recording which was done by placing my Tascam DR-07 handheld recorder in slightly precarious locations, but only got around to using some of the audio with a video I shot with my iPhone in Maquoketa.

The creation of the repository of Dawes shows pushed me to go back through my recordings and get them ready for posting, so I put four shows up that I taped– the three from Barnstormer and a show from February at Rock Island Brewing Company.

Since Dawes is still touring in support of their debut album North Hills, it isn’t surprising that these shows tend to focus on songs from that album– the anthemic “When My Time Comes,” the epic jam of “Peace in the Valley,” “Bedside Manner,” “Western Skyline”– all classic songs this early in their career! However, even shows around June 30th– the release date of the CD included songs that didn’t make it to their debut– whether outtakes from it or new songs they were working on.

Looking at the setlists of the growing collection on archive.org, we get a pretty good list of songs that are candidates for the next album, which doesn’t have a release date, yet, but I believe the band is already recording. Here is the list of these songs with links to performances so you can listen to them for yourself.

Note: Since I don’t have any direct confirmation of any of these songs, none of them can be 100% certain.

My Way Back Home06/30/2009, 10/09/09, 10/10/09, 10/11/09, 10/12/0910/24/09 During the Barnstormer shows, Dawes was calling this a “new song.” The song has a subtle build with the really great harmonies at the end and a very powerful lead vocal by Taylor. It looks like they kind of dropped it out of their regular setlists. It does show up on the band’s second Daytrotter session. Since I don’t have a 2010 performance on the LMA, I’m going to say that there is a 25% chance that it makes the next Dawes album.

How Far We’ve Come09/12/2009, 10/09/09, 02/13/10, 02/15/1006/27/10, 07/03/10, 07/04/10 (Early), 07/18/10, 08/09/1005/14/10, 10/24/09, 10/12/09, This song has shown up on more setlists than any other. Has a really great vocal duet between the brothers Goldsmith. Really, this is probably the band’s own theme song (even though “When My Time Comes” is the huge song). This song shows up on the second Daytrotter session. I don’t have any confirmation, but I’d say there is a 98% chance it makes the next Dawes album.

If I Wanted Someone02/13/10, 02/15/10, 05/14/10, 06/27/10 Also announced as a new song this year. This song is kind of the younger brother of “A Man Needs A Maid” by Neil Young and “Breakdown” by Tom Petty. This song is dark and angry and better be on the new album.  My favorite. Check the 6/27 version and the smoking guitar solo! I think there is a 99% chance it makes the next Dawes album.

Time Spent in Los Angeles02/13/10, 02/15/10, 05/14/10 Another song that shows up in 2010. I think this song is related a bit to “Western Skyline” from North Hills. In that song, Taylor follows his heart and a girl to Birmingham only to find out the relationship doesn’t last the move and, we know that he moved back to North Hills.. In “Time Spent in Los Angeles” he says that the time spent in Los Angeles makes him want to wrap the subject of the song in his arms. It’s interesting that on the 2/13 show he follows “Time” with “Western”… What are you telling us Taylor? This song didn’t make the June/July run of shows. I think there is still a good chance this song makes it– I say 85% chance it makes the album.

Fire Away06/27/10, 07/03/10, 07/04/10 (Early), 07/18/10, 08/09/10, New song– shows up for the first time this year. I think that the Jackson Browne-ish feeling of this song and it’s recent inclusion in sets makes this a better than average bet — 95% chance that it makes the next Dawes album.

So Well02/15/10 07/04/10 (Early), 08/09/10, 05/14/10, That February show at RIBCO brought a bunch of new tunes to the table, “So Well” being one of them. The vocal harmonies on this song shows why Dawes is such an incredible live act. The guitar solo in this one has potential to become a show centerpiece like “Piece in the Valley” has become. We got this one in August, so I bet it makes the new album. 99% Chance.

I’ve Got A Feeling (It’s Gonna Be Alright)10/10/09 As much as I love this song, with its one verse, I’m pretty sure that this one wouldn’t translate to a studio album. Maybe a live album… 1% Chance it makes it to the next Dawes album.

All My Failures 10/12/09, This song only shows up once in the LMA. A pretty waltzy song with the line, “I haven’t let my failures get me yet.” This song shows up on the band’s second Daytrotter session, though, which would definitely weigh in its favor (well, which was recorded around the same day as this show). 25% chance it makes it to the next Dawes album.

Moon in the Water02/15/10 This song only shows up once, but the way Taylor talks about it, it must be a song that had been around for a while since he says he doesn’t get to sing it very often because it is one that requires an intimate show. Certainly it works really well as a solo song. But, is it a Dawes song? Maybe not. 20% chance it makes it to the next Dawes.

Well, any way you look at it, Dawes is a band worth betting your next record purchase or live music dollars on. Dawes music isn’t edgy or groundbreaking  but damn, they continually write great timeless songs with hooks that stick around. I’m really looking forward to the next album and what new songs the future tours will bring.

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