Dawes has opened for some big names, including veteran Jackson Browne and newcomers Mumford and Sons.
The California-based quartet has been spending the last few weeks touring with the biggest name of all, folk legend Bob Dylan.
That tour will bring the band to Bowling Green for a show Sunday at the Stroh Center on the Bowling Green State University campus. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with Dawes hitting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the Stroh Center box office.
Earlier this month the band released its third CD, “Stories Don’t End.” Playing with Dylan exposes the band to listeners outside their fan base to their sound, said Griffin Goldsmith, the band’s drummer.
The dynamic is a little less hard rocking than a Dawes show, he said. But the Dylan fans, who tend to be older, “have the patience to listen to the words.”
People who love Dylan, he said, respect “thoughtful lyrics,” and songwriter Taylor Goldsmith, the drummer’s older brother, delivers finely honed words. Take his line from “Most People”: “Like January Christmas lights under billion year old stars she comes up with more that’s lost than what’s found.”
On “Something in Common” he declares: “The man who stands before you is not the sum of his dreams, but I hope they have something in common.”
And those words all ride along on tuneful contours of melody framed by arrangements collectively fashioned by the band.
Joining the Goldsmith brothers in Dawes are Wylie Gelber, bass, and Tay Strathairn, keyboards.
The band formed in southern California in 2008, just as Griffin Goldsmith was graduating from high school. Rock ‘n’ roll is in the Goldsmith brothers’ blood. Their father Lenny Goldsmith was lead singer for such hard rocking outfits as Tower of Power and Sweathog, before becoming a real estate agent. He reportedly didn’t even like the music of Bob Dylan that much.
But the band’s name reflects another family influence. Dawes was the Goldsmiths’ grandfather’s name, and he loved country music.
The blend of folk, country and rock gets Dawes lumped in with the Laurel Canyon sound of such artists as Crosby. Stills & Nash and Jackson Browne. True, Dawes recorded an earlier album in a Laurel Canyon venue, but they grew up elsewhere in southern California, and don’t connect themselves with that earlier generation of artists, Goldsmith said. Not, he added, that they’re bothered by the link. “If people want to categorize us like that, that’s fine,” he said.
What they did pick up from their father was the importance of dedication to music, “just honing your craft ... and not taking for granted that we do what we love for a living.”
The tour with Dylan is taking them into new territory, he said. The routing was designed to bring the show to venues that don’t usually host acts as big as Dylan.
The call to join the tour came so late, Dawes already had some shows booked, rather than cancel them, they managed to fit them in even if that means flying hundreds of miles on the star’s day off to play a festival.
Though they’ve been warming up the stage for Dylan for weeks, they’ve not met him. The star hangs out on his bus until its time to go on. “He’s a private guy, and we respect that.”
And his fans have been welcoming. “We’ve been able to tour and play for a lot of amazing audiences,” Goldsmith said.
Among those Dylan fans, they hope to find a few new fans of their own.