The Dunwells, two brothers, two cousins, and a best friend, will debut their unique trademark sound that blends Celtic and American folk, rock, blues, pop and soul, on February 14, 2012 with the North American release of Blind Sighted Faith (Playing in Traffic Records/SONY/RED). The 11-track collection was produced by nine-time Grammy winner John Porter (The Smiths, Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams), and recorded during the summer of 2011 at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio in Austin, TX, and Analogue Studios in West Yorkshire, England. Blind Sighted Faith introduces The Dunwells’ organic blend of acoustic and electric roots music that is at once timeless, rambunctious and magical, with glorious five-part harmonies.
“I really love the blend of The Dunwells’ voices,” said producer John Porter. “Joe and David Dunwell, along with the entire band, know their vocal capabilities and really delivered. Their sound energized me and propelled the project throughout the entire recording process. It was a pleasure watching them create.”
“In England, we’re small fish in a small pond,” Joseph Dunwell explained. “Now, coming to the U.S., we’re small fish in a massive pond. America has such a great pedigree of music, and the standard of artists and musicians is so high, so having the opportunity to try and be successful in America means the world to us.”
All five band members – brothers David (guitars, piano, banjo) and Joseph Dunwell (vocals, guitars), cousins Jonny Lamb (vocals, drums) and Rob Clayton (bass), and long-time band buddy Dave Hanson (guitar, pedal steel) – contributed to the writing of the 11 songs on Blind Sighted Faith. The album’s opener and first North American single, “I Could Be A King” (ships to radio December 28), is an uplifting rocker with a splash of Britpop shine that leaves the listener feeling empowered. Showcasing the band’s stunning five-part harmonies, “Only Me” is reflective and regretful, while the rousing “Follow The Road” beckons one to grab at life’s adventures.
Formed a mere two years ago in England’s West Yorkshire, The Dunwells have already been called “a MUST-see band” by the UK’s NME. The group has been paying its dues and building a buzz, first by performing in local pubs and clubs in the band members’ hometown of Leeds, and then near-non-stop touring in the UK and Europe that included playing top festivals as Hop Farm (with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison), Edinburgh’s cutting-edge Fringe Fest, Triumph Live (with Mumford and Sons), and the Fete De La Musique in Paris. And because they just love to play their music, The Dunwells frequently busk on the streets of cities they visit.
“‘Blind Sighted Faith,'” the title song for our album, was written at a time in our career when we were broke, when all we had was our music and our faith,” Dunwell added. “But the song became a turning point, as we were suddenly offered our first UK tour, and then invited to perform at the Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. We didn’t have the money to go to America, but, trusting in ourselves and in our music, we closed our eyes, pushed the button, and booked the flights. There were 5000 incredible musicians there, yet they chose us as the ‘break-out band.’ Titling the album ‘Blind Sighted Faith’ was quite a poignant statement.”
The Dunwells plan to support the release of Blind Sighted Faith with extensive North American touring. Details will be announced shortly.