Robbie Robertson knows a thing or two about live music. The guitarist toured with The Band for 16 years straight before the group’s renowned farewell performance, documented in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, one of the most acclaimed concert films of all time. Now, as he prepares for a series of appearances in support of his forthcoming LP How to Become Clairvoyant, Robertson has selected up-and-coming folk-rockers Dawes as his backing band.
“We were just kind of following the curiosity path,” Robertson told Rolling Stone. “[My manager] came up with the idea of maybe working with them if I was going to do some TV things. We had a rehearsal a couple weeks ago in L.A. and ran over a few tunes, and it just felt pretty natural. They’re really good and they’re a band – it’s different than just getting a bunch of individual musicians and trying to make them click and blend. The guys are already in the blend, so that’s great. They’re all at the top of their game. I’m the one that’s a little rusty.” It is rumored that Dawes will also be working with another hero of the folk-rock genre – Jackson Browne.
Robertson first became familiar with Dawes when he needed a backup vocalist for a few tracks on the new album, including the single “He Don’t Live Here No More.” Robertson’s manager recommended Dawes lead-singer Taylor Goldsmith.
Working with the former Band guitarist is a dream for Goldsmith. “I got Music From Big Pink first,” he told Rolling Stone. “Then once I got their self-titled album, and it became one my top three records ever… The romance of the guy that writes the songs and the other guys sharing the lead vocals, you got to know each guy on a personal level through their performances.”