It's still a little warm here in Phoenix, but you can catch a show in a cool place tonight in Flagstaff as folk/Americana band Dave McGraw and Crow Wing takes the stage at the Green Room (15 N. Agassiz St.)
The band released their current full-length album, Coyotes Came Around, this past summer. It's a peaceful, folky mix of full band and acoustic songs produced by Jeff Lusby, formerly of Flagstaff rock band Mercy Fall, which was signed to Atlantic Records.
Additional production came from Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket Recordings.
McGraw, who started out as a solo artist, said though the slick production was a change of pace from his previously rougher recordings, he welcomed the new opportunity.
"It definitely stretched me beyond any style I would have come up with on my own," McGraw says.
McGraw says he was influenced by artists such as Josh Ritter, Greg Brown and Jeff Foucault, the latter whom he's opened for.
"Their music says something, and that's something I always try to do, sometimes to a fault," McGraw says. Now, he says, the whole band has been writing collaboratively, and the sound is going in more of a Wilco/Calexico direction.
Lyrically, McGraw used his experiences as an orinthologist and ecologist to write songs that were existential, though he stresses he's not an overly political lyricist, just someone who's trying to express to his listeners how he lives his life.
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"A few things that run through the songs are kind of about simple living and about trying to be a voice for some who are less fortunate than we are," McGraw says.
The band hopes to play Phoenix soon, but for now they have a ton of shows lined up in Flagstaff, as well as a couple in Portland, Ore. and Seattle.
"Every time we play somewhere, whether it's a dingy bar or a professional venue, it gets people's attention, and they respond very well to this band," McGraw says.
To check out some of the music yourself, log on to www.davemcgraw.net.