Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 5:07 pm | Fair 61º


Jeff Moehlis: A Dawes-ome Concert

Band serves up country/folk rock at SOhO for our enjoyment

After witnessing the spectacle of the American Music Awards on Sunday night, I rushed back to Santa Barbara to catch the concert at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club by Dawes, a young country/folk rock band from North Hills, the suburb of Los Angeles which gave their 2009 debut album its name.

This served as a much-needed soul cleansing after the programmed and processed sounds of today’s mega-hit music featured at the American Music Awards. There was nothing terribly fancy about it — Dawes just effortlessly played an engaging set of heartfelt songs with beautiful auto-tune-free, three-part harmonies. Imagine that, Usher!

Dawes — made up of principal songwriter Taylor Goldsmith on lead vocals and guitar, his younger brother, Griffin Goldsmith, attacking the drums and on background vocals, Alex Casnoff on keyboards and background vocals, and Wylie Gelber on tastily melodic bass guitar — played the bulk of their album North Hills, one that I liked the first time I heard it and find that I like more and more with each successive listen.

Their live sound was more electric than the studio cuts, reminding me how the somewhat like-minded Local Natives beefed up their live sound at SOhO a few months back.

If I had to pick highlights, I’d choose the show opener “My Girl to Me,” “That Western Skyline,” the new and super-catchy “How Far We’ve Come,” for which Griffin took the lead vocals, and, arguably their best song so far, “When My Time Comes,” which got a huge sing-along response from the audience. But, really, it was all good.

The band also played a few other new songs, including “If I Wanted Someone,” “Time Spent in Los Angeles” in response to a request from someone in the know in the audience, and “A Little Bit of Everything.” Taylor said the band recently finished recording their second album, which is due out around May — presumably at least a few of them will show up there.

One senses that Dawes isn’t making music for fame or fortune, and certainly not with the goal of appearing at the American Music Awards someday. They’re doing it because they enjoy it, and they simply hope that other people have a good time listening to it.

At one point Taylor said, “We’re on tour all the time, so if you like what you’re hearing, let’s get together and do it again.”

Agreed, let’s do it again.


My Girl to Me
When You Call My Name
That Western Skyline
If I Wanted Someone (new)
God Rest My Soul
Time Spent in Los Angeles (new)
Bedside Manner
How Far We’ve Come
Love Is All I Am
Fire Away
Peace in the Valley
When My Time Comes

A Little Bit of Everything
If You Let Me Be Your Anchor

Noozhawk contributor Jeff Moehlis is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at UCSB. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his Web site,

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