Dead Winter Carpenters bundle up for June Lake two-spot

Dead Winter Carpenters founding members Jenni Charles and Jesse Dunn.
Tahoe Onstage file photo

Ten years ago, the Dead Winter Carpenters built a following in an instant. In October 2018, the T-Bar Social Club opened in June Lake and quickly established itself as the go-to venue for music in the Eastern Sierra.

The Dead Winter Carpenters perform Friday and Saturday in the venue just outside of Mammoth Lakes. It will be the North Tahoe-based band’s second two-night run at the 100-capacity T-Bar Social Club.

“It’s a magical universe down there,” said Jesse Dunn, guitarist and songwriter for DWC. “It’s an extremely unique, intimate experience. You are up close and personal with the concertgoers, which is cool. There’s a world-class sound system in there. It’s comfortable and it feels like you’re in a speakeasy. It’s a lot of fun. To me, it feels like you are in the Alps when you’re in June Lake. It’s just a different place.”

The five-piece band’s roots go back to spring 2010 when Dunn, fiddle player Jenni Charles and others delivered a Hammond keyboard to a spot in Virginia City. While having pizza at the Red Dog Saloon, the proprietor, upon learning his guests were musicians, invited them to play. Dunn, Charles and friends did so under the name of Fiddlin’ Jenni and the Organ Handlers.

Shortly thereafter, with the name Dead Winter Carpenters, the group held a raucous after-party show at the Crystal Bay Casino and a fan base was formed. National tours and album releases and Jesse and Jenni’s baby came afterward.

Charles and Dunn are the remaining founding members. Brendan Smith plays drums, Nick Swimley plays guitar and the new bass player is Jeremy Plog. Swimley and Plog play dual guitars with the Golden Cadillacs, and Plog plays bass with the Jackie Greene Band and Tim Flannery.

The Dead Winter Carpenters have been in the studio recording an EP to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. The band will announce details in the coming weeks, Dunn said.

Dunn also is the talent buyer for the T-Bar Social Club, which has featured bands such as Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Nappy Roots, B-Side Players, Pato Banton and President Brown. Solo acoustic shows have featured Tim Bluhm of THe Mother Hips, Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms, and Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth, who will make his second appearance on Monday, Jan. 20. Regional acts have included Jelly Bread and The Sextones,

“We’ve been trying to keep the entertainment as diverse as possible as far as genres of bands and figuring out what works and how to get the word out to all the music fans out there,” Dunn said. “It’s been great so far. We’ve had some incredible acts.”

— Tim Parsons

Dead Winter Carpenters
When:
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 17-18
Where: T-Bar Social Club, June Lake
Tickets: $17 at the door or $29 with shuttle LINK (Departs Mammoth Vons’ parking lot at 7 p.m., returns 10 minutes after the show.)

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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