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Dawes and
River Rocks
Pier 54
July 8, 2010

Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson



Opposite Photo:
Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent

After a particularly brutal heat wave, favor turned our way. The heat broke, and the breeze coming off the Hudson made for the perfect summer evening. On the bill--Dawes and Phosphorescent. The alt country folk stylings of each paired nicely with the beneficial change in climate.


Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes

First up was Dawes. Out of LA, and the sound shows they are well versed in California’s rock, folk and country history. You can hear bits of Neil Young in the guitar riff of “If I wanted someone”. They were also quite adept harmonizers, evoking CSNY, Mamas and the Papas and the like. Joe Walsh comes to mind as well. The lyrics were of the narrative type, the singer had some nice lead guitar moments (and quite the guitar face). It was a good job of transporting the listener to another place, cruising down a Cali Highway, mid seventies, turning the AM dial. The closer “Peace in the Valley” shows they can hold a stage anywhere. My only complaint, if there is one, is I would have liked to see a four on the floor rocker. But even without it, these guys carry the sound of their predecessors nicely.

Scott Stapleton of Phosphorescent


The headliner of the night was Phosphorescent. They too channel a lot of Neil Young, but they got a heaping helpful of Willie in there as well. Plus they had a pedal steel player. I was pleasantly surprised when what I thought would be a straight up country show started showing flashes of fuzz effects and experimentation. Songs would start somewhat traditional and build up into a great wall of experimental noise. The keys player banged his head like a metal maniac, and the guitar work of Matthew Houck and his lead guitarist Jesse Anderson Ainslie was commendable. It didn’t delve into jam band territory thank goodness.

All in all, it was a good night, the type that makes you yearn for a cheap can of beer in a koozie, fire up the grill, and burn a little what what. River to River seems to be doing a great job with the bookings once again. See you next time.

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