The Dunwells, called a “MUST-see” band by the U.K.’s NME, will bring their five-part harmony-laced brand of folk, rock, Americana, pop, Celtic and soul to the U.S. for their first-ever tour. The dates kick off in Memphis, TN on Thursday, February 23 at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference (IFAC). Last year, when The Dunwells played the 2011 IFAC, No Depression singled them out as the event’s “breakout band;” this year, the band returns as headliners of that night’s Main Showcase.
Said the band’s Joeseph Dunwell, “Last year’s Folk Alliance Conference was an overwhelming experience for us, not only because we were playing our music in America for the first time, which was a dream come true, but because of the positive response we received from fellow musicians and performers. Last year’s Folk Alliance was so important for us, so we couldn’t think of a better place to start our U.S. tour.”
The Dunwells’ itinerary also includes a handful of Southwestern U.S. dates with label mates Los Lonely Boys, headline showcases in Los Angeles and New York, and a special appearance at SXSW. The confirmed itinerary is below, and more dates are expected.
“We’re really looking forward to visiting all of these ‘iconic’ places that we’ve seen in the movies and on TV, such as Hollywood, New York, etc.,” added The Dunwells’ Dave Hanson. “To be playing shows in these cities is on every English band’s list of things to do before they die, and we feel very privileged to be able to perform our music across the United States.”
The Dunwells’ tour is in support of Blind Sighted Faith, the band’s debut release due out on February 14, 2012. The album, called “a gorgeously organic offering rife with eloquent lyrics and elegant instrumentation” by ARTISTdirect’s Rick Florino, was produced by nine-time Grammy winner John Porter (The Smiths, Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello), with much of it recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio in Austin, TX.
The album’s first single, “I Could Be A King,” is an uplifting song with the message, “anything you can dream, you can be, and you just might change the world.” As a companion to the track, the band has just made available a powerful and inspirational promo video, a montage of some of the most moving images in history. The video clip can be viewed here.
The Dunwells – two brothers (Joseph/vocals, guitars and David Dunwell/guitars, piano, banjo), two cousins (Jonny Lamb/vocals, drums and Rob Clayton/bass), and a best friend (Dave Hanson/guitar, pedal steel) – all contributed to the writing of the 11 songs on Blind Sighted Faith. In addition to “I Could Be A King,” the track “Only Me” is reflective and regretful and showcases the band’s stunning five-part harmonies, while the rousing “Follow The Road” beckons one to grab at life’s adventures.
The group was formed a mere two years ago in England’s West Yorkshire., and has been paying its dues and building a buzz since. They have been performing in local pubs and clubs in the band members’ hometown of Leeds, and then near-non-stop touring in the UK and Europe that included playing top festivals as Hop Farm (with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison), Edinburgh’s cutting-edge Fringe Fest, Triumph Live (with Mumford and Sons), and the Fete De La Musique in Paris. And because they just love to play their music, The Dunwells frequently busk on the streets of cities they visit.
“Yeah,” laughed Dunwell, “we just may do some impromptu busking while we’re on tour in America, who knows?”
With more details and dates to be announced, The Dunwells’ first U.S. tour dates are as follows:
23 Main Ballroom, Int’l Folk Alliance Conference, Memphis, TN (headline)
26 Cohan Center/Cal Poly State U., San Luis
27 Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA (headline)
28 Belly Up, Solana Beach, CA*
29 Fox Theatre, Tucson, AZ*
2 Chandler Center, Chandler, AZ*
3 SOL @ Sante Fee Brewing Co., Santa Fe, NM*
7 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY (headline)
15 SXSW, Austin, TX (details TBA)
16 SXSW, Austin, TX (details TBA)
* support for Los Lonely Boys