Dawes' relentless touring schedule may seem extreme, but it has helped the sibling-led folk-rock band reach some of their loftiest goals. Their road-warrior ways have caught the attention of several of their idols, including Jackson Browne, John Fogerty and the Band's Robbie Robertson. Before long, Dawes found themselves performing in backing bands for these stars in addition to playing their own material.
These four tracks explore Dawes' relationship with the tour trail, which will take them to the Barrymore Theatre on Friday, July 12.
'From a Window Seat'
In this single from Dawes' new album, Stories Don't End, frontman Taylor Goldsmith reflects on the confusion and wonder that often accompany airplane travel. He also shows how observing a fellow passenger fuels his songwriting by jump-starting his imagination: "I think maybe he's in town for someone's birthday/Maybe he makes trouble everywhere."
'That Western Skyline'
In addition to thrusting the whole band into the limelight, this tune from Dawes' 2009 debut, North Hills, established Goldsmith's identity as a soulful and commanding crooner. Here the horizon is a metaphor for hope and heartbreak. Against a backdrop of keyboards and guitar, Goldsmith laments a relationship coming apart: "We met in California/She saw cities, promise reaching through my eyes/And she turned herself away/Well, how I curse that western skyline."
'If I Wanted Someone'
Featuring gritty guitar licks that bring to mind Neil Young and Crazy Horse, this song off 2011's Nothing Is Wrong is all about forward motion, or finding someone to make "the days move easy."
'When My Time Comes'
This song from Dawes' first album has aged especially well. It was featured in a Chevrolet commercial in 2010, but the band have turned it into an anthem fit for a road trip instead of letting it become a symbol of gas-guzzling consumerism.