Dead Winter Carpenters break out the new jams for ‘Washoe’ release performance in Crystal Bay

Dead Winter Carpenters
The Dead Winter Carpenters are back where it all began.
Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe’s biggest band is heading to Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room this weekend to throw down some new tunes for hometown fans. Dead Winter Carpenters will be playing a CD release party Saturday, Feb. 27, for “Washoe,” the group’s newest album.

Formed in North Shore in 2010, DWC has been playing steadily across the country for several years now. The group is Jesse Dunn (guitar, vocals), Jenni Charles (fiddle, vocals), Dave Lockhart (upright and electric bass, vocals), Bryan Daines (lead guitar, vocals) and Brian Huston (drums, vocals).

“We’ve toured a lot the last couple of years, and in that time we’ve been writing new music,” Huston said. “We’ve been trying different things out onstage and really having a great time doing it.”

DWC released the EP “Dirt Nap” in 2014. Since then, the members have accumulated a substantial amount of material, along with the desire to record a full-length album.

“It’s been a long time coming really; we’ve had the songs for over a year now, just kind of road testing them and stuff like that,” Daines said. “We’ve been wanting to get into the studio for a while, but things didn’t quite line up.”

Things seem to have worked out for “Washoe.” Relying in part on Daines’ Reno roots, DWC secured the services of local producer Zach Girdis and sound engineer Kevin Bosley, and temporarily opened the doors of Sierra Sonics, a recording studio that has hosted artists such as Ozzy Osborne, Dr. Dre and Eminem.

“Those guys did a fantastic job,” Huston said. “Zach’s process is just capturing an authentic feel. A lot of the stuff was done with multiple instruments doing their final takes on the spot together so it would have a warmer feel to it, a more cohesive sound.”

While the band toyed with the idea of releasing a double album, combining studio tracks with a set of live recordings, it elected to go with the 12 studio tracks on “Washoe.”

“It captures our current sound pretty well,” Huston said. “We have a lot of the country stuff going on, some bluegrass arrangements, and there’s a little bit of our ’90s influence in there too. You can definitely hear some influence from the grunge days. Neil Young, there’s a lot of influence there in the band as well.”

“We got to do some fun things,” Daines said. “I got to play a little banjo. Dave did some horn arrangements, and we brought in some keys, which we hadn’t done on a few of the other albums.”

Saturday night promises to be a fun one, with the band playing host at their home venue in Crystal Bay. DWC performed its first show there in 2010, playing the Red Room after-party for Yonder Mountain String Band.

“Washoe” will be available on CD Saturday night, and DWC will be releasing the album on vinyl this year as well.

“We’ll probably have a new cover or two to throw out there, and then a lot of music that really hasn’t been heard yet by probably 90 percent of people,” Huston said.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be a pretty solid hometown crowd, hoping we get a lot of the Reno folks up there too, since there was so much involvement in the area,” Daines said.

Dead Winter Carpenters are having some pals along for the ride. Colorado’s Gipsy Moon will open the show. The groups will be heading out on two tours together in March, doing a first run through the Northwest and a second leg out to Gipsy Moon’s home turf in Colorado. Reno act Hellbound Glory will be playing the Red Room after DWC wraps up.

“We’re gonna make it a party,” Huston said. “We’re going to have a little fun with it,”

Related story: “Washoe” album review: LINK

  • Dead Winter Carpenters “Washoe” Release Party
    Opener: Gipsy Moon
    Red Room after-party: Hellhound Glory
    When: 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27
    Where: Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room
    Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 day of show

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