published Friday, May 20th, 2011

Los Angeles folk rockers kick off Nightfall series


Q&A with singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith


What: Nightfall Concert Series featuring Dawes, with Dave Dykes and the Grateful Hearts opening.

When: 7 p.m. today.

Where: Miller Plaza, corner of M.L. King Boulevard, Cherry and Market streets.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 265-0771.



Dave Dykes and The Grateful Hearts is a local independent Americana/alt-country sextet. For details, visit,


Note: Opening acts are in parentheses.


27: Elizabeth and The Catapult (The Culprits)


3: Bekka Bramlett (Sweet & Lowdown)

10, 17: No shows during Riverbend

24: Michael Kaeshammer (Strung Like a Horse)


1: Hugo (Digital Butter)

8: Mia Borders (A.J. Valcarcel’s Bitter Lesson)

15: Black Lillies (Moon Slew)

22: Free Energy (Machines Are People Too)

29: Road to Nightfall winner WTM Blues Band (The Cadillac Saints)


5: Mingo Fishtrap (The Danny Sample Band featuring Marcenia)

12: TBA (Uncle Lightnin’)

19: Michael Burks (Michelle Young & Pontiac Blue)

26: UTC Night featuring Locos por Juana (Prophets & Kings)


2: McPeake (Slim Pickins)

9: Ollabelle (The Dismembered Tennesseans)

Maybe it’s the unadorned folk/rock or the sepia tinge to the band’s vocal harmonies, but there’s something genuinely vintage in Dawes’ music.

“A lot of what matters to us — a lot of our priorities, musically — are things that we notice aren’t as important now and might never be again,” lead singer Taylor Goldsmith said. “For us, piano solos or guitar solos or well-played percussion are qualities that not only seem a little lost but are, in some cases, unaccepted.

“That’s something that’s important to us.”

Goldsmith cited artists such as The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and Tom Petty as among the group’s primary influences, but its music also shares much in common with other Angelista quartets such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Eagles.

Tonight, they’ll take the stage as the first headliner of the Nightfall concert series.

Dawes was formed in 2009 in Los Angeles by Goldsmith and bassist Wylie Gelber from the ashes of their alt-rock band, Simon Dawes.

When Simon Dawes started breaking up, Goldsmith said, he took a step back to reconsider his musical priorities.

“I started thinking, ‘What am I doing? What matters to me? Am I going to continue trying to be in this Simon Dawes alternative rock band, or will I try to write songs that help me out in the way that other songs have helped me out by writers I love?’”

Like those artists — Bob Dylan, John Prine and Will “Bonnie Prince Billy” Oldham — Goldsmith said he hopes to reach out and connect with listeners, even as he’s entertaining them.

“[Those artists] helped shape who I am as an individual and helped teach me patience and how to recognize things that are good and right and beautiful,” Goldsmith said. “My goal and our goal as a band is to try to help even one person to have that same experience in their music.”

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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