Dead Winter Carpenters stay busy, nail down date for WinterWonderGrass

Here’s “Bootleg Jack,” the brand new video by the Dead Winter Carpenters.

North Tahoe’s Dead Winter Carpenters isn’t about to miss a massive party going down on its home turf.

The band has returned to the Tahoe basin to play a number of shows at this weekend’s Winter Wondergrass bluegrass festival at the Resort at Squaw Creek, alongside acts like The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass and Sam Bush. Dead Winter Carpenters play the main stage Friday at 6:45 pm, along with a number of late night shows.

Dead Winter Carpenters“Just seeing these world class musicians descend on our backyard is really exciting, for us and for all the fans out there. I’m sure there’ll be lots of collaborations,” DWC guitarist and front man Jesse Dunn said.

Along with Dunn, DWC is Jenni Charles (fiddle, vocals), Dave Lockhart (upright and electric bass, vocals), Bryan Daines (lead guitar, vocals), and Brian Huston (drums, vocals)

Formed five years ago this spring to open for a Yonder Mountain String Band show at Crystal Bay Casino, Dead Winter Carpenters have since grown from a hot hometown band to a busy national touring act. Naturally, the groups sound has evolved considerably along the way.

“It used to be a little more acoustic, a little more bluegrass leaning,” Dunn said. Now it’s a little rockier, we’re straying away from the country stuff and a little more to the alt country, sound.”

“We definitely appreciate all of that stuff as major influences on us; we love the folk music and the straightforward string band. We just have influences that are coming from five different directions.”

Five years out, Dead Winter Carpenters continue to pick up steam. The band has a busy slate ahead after this brief trip home.

“This year is really ramping up; the festivals are coming around and we’re about to hit the road starting really the end of this month. Next month alone we’ll be in Salt Lake City, Boise, all over,” Dunn said, noting additional trips to the Northwest, Arizona and New Mexico.

Dead Winter CarpentersUpcoming festivals include Delfest in Maryland and Yonder Mountain’s Northwest String Summit in Oregon.

With such a busy schedule, hometown fans are fortunate that DWC makes time to routinely return to Tahoe. The band played a number of two night shows at Crystal Bay Casino in 2014, and will return in May. While he could not provide specifics, Dunn also said that the band is headed to South Shore at some point this year for “a really big show.”

Dead Winter Carpenters also found time to shoot some video while on the road this year. In February, the group stopped by a video production company in Boulder, Colo. and filmed music videos for “Holding and Winning Hand,” “Good Old Time” and “Love Amongst Thieves.”

The band aims to release another album in 2015, although it is still unsure of the details. DWC recorded the shows at Crystal Bay in December, and may release that material.

“We’re aiming to release something whether it’s the studio album, a live album or both, in 2015; that’s the goal,” Dunn said. “We definitely have the material in the hopper; we really want to put this material out, we want to keep releasing it as it sprouts out in our brains.”

As the material sprouts, the band mates continue to grow as songwriters.

“I think our songwriting is developing for sure,” Dunn said. “All five band members are contributing heavily to that. We’re headed down that alt-country rock sound right now, and that’s how our songwriting is seeming to lead.”

  • Winter Wondergrass
    When: 3-10 pm, plus late night shows. Friday-Sunday, March 20-21.
    Where: Resort at Squaw Creek
    Tickets: Various options

About Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage is an online entertainment and sports magazine covering Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno, the Carson Valley and June Lake.

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