Well Done, Dunwells (Live at Hotel Cafe, 2/27/12

Just back from seeing the up and coming U.K. band the Dunwells at the Hotel Café. I don’t often write the “just back from the show” report but this band was too impressive not to spread the word.

Fronted by brothers Joe and David Dunwell, the group not only boasts some fine harmonizing but also some really well thought out vocal arrangements which makes their songs radiate that much more. This thoughtfulness also extends to the way they put their songs together. They do an excellent job crafting their tunes, shifting between loud and soft moments to enhance the songs’ emotional moments. Lead guitarist Dave Hanson shows fine restraint in his playing, slipping in short lead lines that provide that a little extra muscle.

Main singer Joe Dunwell has an emotive soulful voice while brother David has a bit more country in his voice. Drummer Jonny Lamb also adds to the harmonic richness and even sang lead in a gentle folky voice on “Only Me.” The band, which also features bassist Rob Clayton, ’s set was full of tunes from their just released album Blind Sighted Faith, with its standout tracks including “Blindsided Faith,” “Elizabeth,” “Follow The Road,” and their rousing anthem “I Could Be King.”

While they might not do anything fancy or esoteric, the band delivers everything you want out of a band: strong singing, heartfelt lyrics, melodic tunes and spirited playing, plus they really seem to enjoy performing on stage. Comparisons have been made to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young but they remind me of British folk-rock acts like Aztec Camera and Del Amitri. Regardless of what band they may sound like, the Dunwells have a very bright future ahead of them. Do your self a favor and check them out.

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About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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