Song Of The Day

Dawes: Country-Rock, Craggy And Effervescent

Dawes may look the part of a typical indie-rock band, but these are country-rock hippies at heart, if "When You Call My Name" is any indication. Theirs is music of a stripe heard when Gram Parsons joined The Byrds and then founded The Flying Burrito Brothers, when The Band hit its stride without Bob Dylan, and when the original Jayhawks breathed new life into the genre two decades ago.

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "When You Call My Name"
  • Artist: Dawes
  • CD: North Hills
  • Genre: Country-Rock
Dawes i i

Dawes' members are country-rock hippies at heart, if "When You Call My Name" is any indication. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Dawes

Dawes' members are country-rock hippies at heart, if "When You Call My Name" is any indication.

courtesy of the artist

Dawes' sound is craggy and weathered, as if the musicians had spent years hauling their butts from one roadhouse to another. In the case of "When You Call My Name," the song is driven by a nagging guitar-twang lead straight out of The Flying Burrito Brothers' The Gilded Palace of Sin, as well as effervescent harmonies that elevate the song like a horse pulling a wagon out of a ditch.

Old-school country-rock can also be tormented and lyrically complex. Here, the narrator wrestles with someone — a lover, presumably — who may expect too much from him and the world. So he wants to know when she really needs him and when she doesn't: "So I will not give you bread / as you reach out from your cage / But I'll hear it when you call my name." Those tough-love sentiments aren't very 1960s, but Dawes knows that even in old-school country-rock, a few traditions need to be updated.

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Song Of The Day