The Dunwells

Live upstairs at The Bodega • early doors • 18+ event

  • Wednesday 26th September 2012
  • Supported by: Tristan MacKay + Josh Keogh
  • Doors open: at 7:00pm

The Dunwells photo

THE DUNWELLS • Website/Blog     //     THE DUNWELLS • FaceBook     //     THE DUNWELLS • Twitter


Utterly natural. There’s no more fitting description for both the music of The Dunwells and the story of their magical rise from the pubs of Leeds to an American record deal, a US tour and a stunning debut album in just two short years.

Consisting of brothers Joseph and David Dunwell (vocals, guitars and keyboards), cousins Rob Clayton and Jonny Lamb (bass and drums) and life-long friend Dave Hanson on lead guitar, The Dunwells have created a timeless yet contemporary collection of eleven captivating numbers on Blind Sighted Faith, striking an organic blend between acoustic and electric roots music, laced by luscious vocal harmonies from all five members.

From its opening track, ‘I Could Be A King’, The Dunwells offer a panoramic collection that seamlessly melds elements of Celtic and American folk, rock, blues, pop and soul into a trademark sound all their own, inviting all who hear it to join them ‘In The Moment’, as another song title declares. From moments of graceful reflective repose of ‘Only Me’ to the swirling mesmerism of ‘Follow The Road’ and the majestic prayerful plaint of ‘Oh Lord’, or the haunting bristle of ‘Perfect Timing’, the album displays a dead aim for profound and affecting feeling matched by an abundance of musicality.

Blind Sighted Faith was produced by the multiple Grammy award-winning producer John Porter, whose spectrum of clients includes Roxy Music, The Smith, B.B. King, Ryan Adams and Los Lonely Boys. Also hailing from Leeds, Porter proved to be the ideal collaborator to help bring the artistic richness within The Dunwells to fruition.

From the first time The Dunwells hit American shores at the 2011 International Folk Alliance conference in Memphis, their impact has been nothing short of astounding. “Anyone that’s seen them has just been ‘Oh My God!’ They’re mind boggling!” raved Folk Alliance Executive Director Louis Jay Meyers to Voice of America radio.

No Depression was equally impressed: “People were buzzing about them and the music business folks in attendance were all clamouring for a chance to work with them.” Playing In Traffic Records won out, and four months later The Dunwells were recording with Porter at Willie Nelson’s famed Pedernales Studio in the Texas Hill Country just outside Austin.

In February 2012, The Dunwells return to Memphis as Folk Alliance Conference headliners.

All five members of The Dunwells hail from the same part of Leeds, earning their musical stripes in local pubs and clubs before uniting as a band. Brothers David and Joseph Dunwell grew up in a home full of music. Weaned on such artists as The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and countless other classic musical acts from the 1960s onward, both began playing guitar at an early age, inspired by their father, a talented classical acoustic player. David and Joseph both started writing songs and individually made their initial marks at open mic nights, playing in and around Leeds. When a booking agent suggested that they unite as an act it made perfect sense.

Bassist Rob Clayton and David Dunwell spent many hours in their youth listening to music together, while guitarist Dave Hanson heard Joseph Dunwell singing in a pub and, duly impressed, started playing shows with him. “We all made music for a living before we became a group,” notes Hanson. “It’s not just a band that formed. It’s organic and it comes from sharing the same roots, and everybody growing up listening to and learning music together.” Once they united as The Dunwells, they all knew that something special was brewing.

The Leeds Telegraph & Argus agreed. “With their easy-going nature, their sheer enjoyment of playing and supreme musicianship this band looks set to burst onto a much wider scene. You can almost taste the expectancy.”

The buzz spread to London when the band booked a gig at The Bedford, a noted showcase venue where acts like Paolo Nutini and KT Tunstall began their rise. The Dunwells nearly missed it when their van broke down on the outskirts of London. But they piled into a taxi with their gear and hit the stage just in time to be seen by Tony Moore, the influential music promoter, BBC radio air personality and singer-songwriter who immediately became a key supporter.

The band spent 2011 touring Britain and Europe, playing such 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. Following the release of their debut EP in October 2011, The Dunwells were named Artist of the Month by the Caffe Nero coffee chain and played a 20 day/40 show tour across England and Scotland to win over a growing U.K. fan base. To help spread their music further, The Dunwells frequently busk on the streets of the city’s they visit.

Now with their first album under their belts, The Dunwells are primed to take their music as far and wide as they can. And one can hear that solidarity in the music they create together. “We’re all in it for the same reason,” concludes David Dunwell. “We just love making music.”

plus supports:

TRISTAN MACKAY  •  Website        ///        TRISTAN MACKAY  •  FaceBook