It’s little wonder that Bob Dylan has chosen this California quartet as openers for the current leg of his never-ending tour. There are few bands with as firm a command of lyrics as Dawes. On their third album, leader Taylor Goldsmith continues to sing stories — in a wistful voice that seems to mash up Jackson Browne, Ray Davies, and Ryan Miller — full of evocative imagery, insight, emotion, beauty, and humor; stories that make you lean forward to hear what’s coming next as you bob your head to the gentle shuffles, consistent gallops, or electric guitar grit. The stories may have familiar contours (love affairs, self-reflection, observation) but the details pack the joy of surprise. And each song has at least one example of a way to express emotion that can feel inarticulable, or as Goldsmith sings on “Something in Common,” “All my best kept secrets are the ones I didn’t know I had.” (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Someone Will”
Dawes plays at the Tsongas Center Tuesday.