New Jersey Stage

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DAWES AT MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY

(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- When the Center for the Arts at Monmouth University hosts the first event in the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Series, the Jersey Shore will get its first look at a band with a future that's as brilliant as the past masters who helped write their backstory the band called Dawes.


Going up at the Pollak Theatre on the night of September 25, the 8 p.m. show marks the debut engagement at Monmouth's West Long Branch campus for the L.A. based group fronted by brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith. It's part of a busy interlude that's seen Dawes-the-band make a high-profile appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, and undertake a major theater and festival tour that brings them from Baltimore to Frisco, Ottawa to Austin, Little Rock to London all in support of their 2013 release Stories Don't End. 

It's also another leg on a musical journey that has carried the Goldsmiths and bandmates Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn from the mellowed-out milieu of Laurel Canyon to the concrete canyons of Lower Manhattan, where in December of 2011 they entertained the protestors of Occupy Wall Street. Along the way, the band that named its 2009 debut after its North Hills stomping ground has cemented its status as sought-after players on festival bills from Newport to Bonnaroo and made many thousands of new friends through a crisply melodic, folk-infused big beat that departed from the harder-edged attack of the band's earlier incarnation, Simon Dawes.

The influence of such classic "Laurel Canyon" artists as Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and CSN remains in evidence on Stories, an album heralded by the driving single "From a Window Seat" and its contemplative view of L.A. as seen from the air. Taylor Goldsmith who also moonlights in the cult supergroup Middle Brother gets inside the heads of his characters in "Most People" and "Just My Luck" as few modern songsmiths do, and the sometimes complex emotions are put forth with crystal clarity by tight harmonies, smartly ringing guitars, and what might be one of the genuinely underrated rhythm sections at work today.

Opening for Dawes will be Hayes Carll, a 2011 nominee for "Artist of the Year" by the Americana Music Association and highly-acclaimed Scottish-American indie singer/songwriter Johnathan Rice, who also played Roy Orbison in the Academy Award-winning film, Walk the Line.


Tickets for the September 25 concert featuring Dawes are priced at $25, $35 and $45 and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts. Tickets for other upcoming events in the 2013-2014 Performing Arts series at Monmouth University including Rosanne Cash (November 1), Ani DiFranco (November 8), and Josh Ritter (November 22) are on sale now. For more on Dawes, visit www.dawestheband.com .