Live Dead: Dead Winter Carpenters will record album at Crystal Bay Casino

Dead Winter Carpenters

Jenni Charles

Lake Tahoe’s hottest hometown band, Dead Winter Carpenters, is back on home turf this weekend. While DWC at Crystal Bay Casino is always a thrilling show, Friday and Saturday’s Freshy Freshy Pow Wow performances will mark a first for the band: live concert recordings.

“We’re going to be recording this weekend; we’re hoping to make a live album out of the recordings,” fiddler and vocalist Jenni Charles said. “We’ve got a lot of new material and we’re going to get it on the album that way.”

“People have been asking for a live album for a really long time, and we’ve been wanting to do one for a really long time, so we thought this was a great opportunity.”

Ideally, the band would follow up with studio recordings of some new songs in 2015, Charles said, noting the difference between the group’s sound in studio versus onstage.

“We’ll probably do a select number of songs, maybe one or two, or one to five, by the time we get back into the studio, which might be spring or fall,” she said. “We take a lot of liberties in the studio too, to make it sound different, so when people come to a live performance it actually is different from the album.”

This is a bit of an under-statement; another way to put it might be that DWC’s live appearances are so raucous, up-beat, and just plain rocking that no studio work could ever hope to capture the same sonic energy.

Dead Winter CarpentersDWC’s sound is a wild blend of a variety of American music forms. You’ll find searing fiddle, galloping bass notes, and moving harmonies; guitar styles fly from country-style picking to shredding rock and blues licks; underneath it all is the steady, unmistakable stomp that has shaken venue floors all across the country.

Formed on Lake Tahoe’s North shore in 2010, Dead Winter Carpenters has steadily grown its fan base and territory during the last four years. The band is Charles (fiddle, vocals), Jesse Dunn (guitar, vocals), Bryan Daines (guitar, vocals), Dave Lockhart (upright bass, vocals) and Brian Huston (drums, vocals).

The North Lake Tahoe group recently returned home after spending the last months of 2014 on a number of different tours.

“We’ve only been home for a couple days in the last three months or so, a couple days at a time I guess,” Charles said. “We’ve been on the road quite a bit. We did that big run with Greensky Bluegrass.”

DWC joined the Michigan string band for a series of tour dates in November, starting in Salt Lake City before swinging through Montana over to the West Coast. The two bands appeared at venues from Portland to San Diego, ending the tour at San Francisco’s storied Fillmore Auditorium.

“It was really fun to get in some new venues for us and play to a bunch of new people,” Charles said.

Beyond the prospect of new recordings, DWC fans can look forward to a bevy of upcoming tour dates around the U.S., with upcoming tours planned for the Northwest, Southwest and East Coast.

“We’ve got a lot of fun stuff planned; new venues and great shows coming up, so we’re excited about it,” Charles said.

For now though, DWC is happy to be back in Tahoe, recording for their first live album in front of a home crowd. About the recordings: Charles had strict instructions for weekend concert-goers, issued with a playful laugh: “Lots of crowd noise and no heckling!”

Freshy Freshy Pow Wow
Dead Winter Carpenters

  • 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20; Front Country opens, Down North plays the Red Room after-party
  • 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21; T Sisters opens, Quick& Easy Boys play the Red Room after-party

Cover: $17 in advance or $20 on the day of the show

Dead Winter Carpenters



About Nick McCabe

Nick McCabe is a musician, photographer and writer from Reno. He is the editor of the music website Front Row Photo. He plays in a seven-piece band, Apothic.

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