You probably remember Fast Times at Ridgemont High" -- maybe you even lived it -- and the biggest hit from the soundtrack, Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby." The guys in Free Energy weren't in high school in the '80s, but they know how to capture the sing-and-clap-along joy of it all.
Dawes is from Los Angeles and have become linked to a new Laurel Canyon sound that remakes the sound (if not the scene) made in the late '60s by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, the Byrds and others. Their music harks back to a time when the grass was green, not red or purple, and mellow was a way of life, not an ice cream flavor.
Ever wonder if popular music is better today than it was, say, 40 years ago? Frankly, it isn't. Even with Gangnam style, it's hard to imagine this year producing so many recordings as important as the best of 1972.
I never go to a concert expecting to have an experience that changes my perspective and the way I view music. Sunday night at the Old Rock House, David Lindley and John Hammond schooled me in what music really is, baptized me in the cool waters of the blues and sent me forth to spread the word to everyone I meet.