Ironically, Tahoe received more snow in May, the month of the annual Winter’s Dead Memorial Weekend shows, than it did in January, when the Dead Winter Carpenters made a video.
To set the mood for the song “West Shore Town,” it was important for find some scenes with snow.
Producer Ron Richman not only discovered some shady areas with snow on the ground, he also took the band to railroad tracks near Highway 20 to symbolically explain how the broken-hearted singer had to move away.
As Richman turned on his cameras, a train fortuitously rolled down the tracks, a most appropriate addition to an outstanding video.
The Dead Winter Carpenters always seem to be in the right place at the right time.
Its first show was a 2010 after-party for Yonder Mountain String Band in the Crystal Bay Casino. The Crown Room crowd packed into the Red Room and the West Shore band was an instant success.
Was the band lucky? Most definitely. But luck is the residue of design.
The Dead Winter Carpenters were up to the task of keeping the Yonder Mountain crowd on a high. And so was Jesse Dunn when he rushed to the scene as the train sped along. He calmly sang and melodiously played guitar in perfect synchronization with the studio recording of “West Shore Town,” a hit, by the way, often played on KTKE 101.5 FM radio.
The Dead Winter Carpenters are not yet a household name across the nation, but in a very short time have ascended further than more than at least 95 percent of new bands. That it now sells out each of its ticketed Crown Room shows demonstrates it is clearly Tahoe’s most popular band.
How did the members do it?
“It is a mind-set,” Dunn said. “You have to commit yourself to what you are doing. A commitment and a passion and go headlong for it. Everybody in the band has taken it upon themselves to grow it like any other career. And it takes perseverance.”
The band, when it started, toured 200 times in a year, strategically returning to venues and building fan bases all across the Northwest. This summer it will appear for the third time at the High Sierra Music Festival, the largest festival in the region.
The quality of Winter’s Dead’s supporting cast also indicates the respect Dead Winter Carpenters command.
Chris Shiflett & the Dead Peasants opened Friday, May 23. Shiflett is the lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters. Saturday’s opener was the Brothers Comatose, Crown Room headliners in its own right. The after-party both nights was the Revivalists, one of the most impressive groups at High Sierra in 2013. The band is from New Orleans, although charismatic lead singer David Shaw is an Ohio native.