I remember listening to the audio from this performance on our two-track recorder in the rental car, headed back to the airport after a very long, cold, and amazing tour. Sam Belletto, my Partner-in-Crime and Director of Photography, turned to me and said, “Fuck.” I had to nod in agreement.
While it played, we both sat back, taking in the beautiful Iowa country-side and reminisced about the day we shot Dawes in front of THAT barn. For all who were there for the taping, it was obvious just how special it all was.
The night before we shot this acoustic performance, the exceptionally hospitable owners of the Codfish Hallow Barn, Shawn and Tiffany Biehl, invited everyone back to their home for Jalapeno Poppers, Jaeger and one of the greatest jam sessions I have ever heard. Sadly, because of the extreme cold, the lenses of our cameras had frozen over and all that remains is the audio. But what great audio it is. I still go back and listen to it.
The next day, after a huge breakfast and three kinds of pie, we followed the bands back to the barn to reload the equipment. Sam and I began scouting the farm for a nice place for Dawes to perform and boom! Not even 10 seconds in front of THAT barn, and in unison we exclaimed, “Done!”
It took half an hour, 700 feet of extension chord and one Bobcat ride, which will stay in my memory for years to come, to get set up. The image of Wylie (Bass) and Alex (Piano) standing in the bucket of the Bobcat, holding the piano in place, still makes me smile.
Now, I have received a lot of compliments about our audio. But we didn’t record this performance with anything special; two mics on a two channel recorder. So the real credit for the great sound that you are hearing has to be given to Dawes. They are the ones to commend. And deserve every accolade for this extremely beautiful and raw performance. They say dynamics are key to being a great musician; and, well, Dawes has it, tenfold.