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Music » Sound Stories & Interviews

Watching the Winter

Dead Winter Carpenters' nature-inspired bluegrass

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Way up in the Sierra Nevada, surrounded by snow-capped peaks in the Tahoe National Forest, next to a lake whose clear blue water resembles liquefied sapphires, is where the Dead Winter Carpenters call home. The band formed in North Lake Tahoe, not the typical urban music scene filled with basement bound garage bands or countrified back porch jam band collectives. Their natural surroundings mixed with road-trials makes for a frayed collaboration of musical styles.

"There is an abundance of inspiration in our backyard. It is only a natural progression that these settings will translate through our music, as do a lot of our experiences on the road," explained Jesse Dunn, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band."We're very fortunate to live in such a spectacular region, and have such magnificent support from our hometown fans."

Laced with fiddle melodies head-to-head with dueling female/male vocals and running rockabilly guitar solos, the contention between instruments, all playing lead lines in Dead Winter Carpenters music, is a surprisingly welcome effect landing squarely in the alt-country, bluegrass, rock world.

"We have a classic country instrumentation with two guitars, both acoustic and electric, including the twang of the Telecaster, a fiddle, upright and electric bass, and drums," explained Dunn.

Out of the traditional realm for string bands, the drums, Dunn said, deepen the groves of the songs. "It makes our sound more versatile and limitless."

And while the band is willing to commit themselves to the string band genre, they're also not willing to call themselves a jam band.

"We have a great respect for that style of music and draw a lot of inspiration from bands such as the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and Phish, but we don't consider ourselves a jam band," said Dunn. "Certainly there are tunes where we'll stretch out a little bit and improvise more, but overall we're more rooted in the alt-country, bluegrass, rock side of the spectrum."

Dead Winter Carpenters

7 pm. Wed., Jan. 7

McMenamins, 700 NW Bond St.

Free.

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