MUSIC BOX: We’re All Gonna Die, Live

By on July 19, 2017

Dawes brings crooning, effusive sounds to the Center.


JACKSON HOLE, WY – The songs of the band Dawes are theatric and empathetic, cutting straight to the honest microcosm of human experience. A laidback rock groove is used to advance the folk story, and drummer Griffin Goldsmith adds a rich vocal harmony to his brother, Taylor’s, distinctive croon. The brotherhood extends to the other three band mates as well—original bassist Wylie Gelber, keyboardist of three years Lee Pardini, and newest member, guitarist Trevor Menear.

“There’s a definite advantage to singing with your brother,” Griffin said ahead of an opening gig for Willie Nelson. “The way we can anticipate each other’s phrasing, and you kind of have the same timbre to your voice, so it’s a lot easier to make it blend, almost like you’re singing harmony to yourself.”

Establishing a devout following over six albums, the band’s fifth studio effort We’re All Gonna Die is certainly a diversion with its heavy Flaming Lips-esque synthesizers, near choppy pop production, and tongue-and-cheek goofiness. The latter surfaces with radio single “When the Tequila Runs Out,” which depicts a high roller’s party that the writer perhaps doesn’t jibe with. Regardless of whether longtime fans enjoy the departure, its forward and experimental progress and the antithesis live album We’re All Gonna Live from earlier this year were timed well for those new to the Dawes train.

“On the bus, we’ll write down every song from every record and cross them off as we’ve played them,” Griffin explained. “By the end of every tour, we’ve played every song that we have. For headlining shows [like the Center Theater] there’s plenty of time to represent each record, and there’s always fluctuation in the setlist depending on the circumstance. For instance, tonight we may choose different songs for the Willie Nelson opening slot versus opening for Mumford & Sons.”

Though different in many ways, Taylor Goldsmith’s writing is as refined as Jason Isbell or John Prine. The ability to get into the listener’s head via subjects that are personal within the context of American cultural commonalities is a skill rare to any genre.

“Maybe there’s a line here or there that isn’t the best, but by the time you’re through the whole thing, you feel overcome emotionally,” Taylor Goldsmith told The Oklahoman. Dawes, 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 25 at Center Theater. $47-$57.

Michaela Anne

PFAC Attack

If the breeze from Pinedale hasn’t brought to your attention Pinedale Fine Arts Council’s Soundcheck Music Series yet this summer, there are still three quality outdoor concerts left to enjoy. These are low-key, all-ages shows much like Jackson Hole Live or Concert on the Commons, only in a more intimate setting with a predominantly local audience.

Nashville’s straight-talking, anti-machine, indie-country artist Michaela Anne along with Tulsa’s grass roots folkster Wink Burcham is the offering this Saturday.

The remainder of the series includes Austin country-soul man Garrett Lebeau with folk gal Rachel Baiman (August 12), and a dandy triple bill closer of Austin bands The Deer, The Lonesome Heroes, and Whippoorwill (August 19).

Michaela Anne with Wink Burcham, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22 at American Legion Park in Pinedale. Free, all-ages.

Bay Area Partytime

Born from a weekly dance party at the famed Elbo Room in its hometown of San Francisco, Afrolicious is used to the intimacy of sweaty dancers within arms reach. What started out as a DJ party morphed into incorporating live musicians—ranging from eight to 12—aimed at simply “bringing back real roots, some positive human experience.”

Salsa, Samba, funk, reggae, hip-hop and blues with a heavy percussion element and punchy horns will rise up to the Tetons from the Village Commons stage.

Afrolicious, 5 p.m. Sunday, July 23 at the Village Commons in Teton Village. Free, all-ages. PJH

Aaron Davis is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, audio engineer at Three Hearted Studio, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.


Greg Creamer Duo (Warbirds Café); Screen Door Porch Duo (Mangy Moose)


Andy Frasco with One Ton Pig

(Victor City Park); Sista Otis

(Town Square Tavern)


JH Live presents Jamie McLean Band with Tram Jam (Snow King Ballfield);

Palamino Shakedown (Silver Dollar); Samantha Rise Band

(American Legion Park in Pinedale)


Michaela Anne with Wink Burcham (American Legion Park in Pinedale); Super Doppler (Town Square Tavern); Gleewood (Silver Dollar)


Afrolicious (Village Commons);

Lauren Conrad & Patrick Chadwick

(Silver Dollar)


The Minor Keys (Jackson Lake Lodge); Open Mic (Pinky G’s)


Dawes (Center Theater); Stackhouse (Mangy Moose)

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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