Friday, January 11, 2008

Steve Dawson (from north of the border)

As if running his label Black Hen Music wasn't enough, Steve Dawson (the one from Vancouver, Canada, not to be confused with the one from Idaho) decided to record two albums worth of material in one year. Most of the songs were recorded in the same sessions using the same musicians, and the first of the pair of albums, Waiting For the Lights to Come Up, is scheduled to be released February 5th.

Steve is a musician in many different ways. He runs his own label, and besides recording his own material, produces some of the acts on the label as well. For his production work he has been named Producer of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and twice at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. He has produced 7 Juno nominated albums, and has 4 Juno Awards for albums that he has produced or in which he has been a featured musician. Not too shabby to say the least.

That being said, one would expect Steve to be a consummate performer himself, and listening to this album will certainly offer some convincing proof. It's a filling collection of tracks which bring in influences that run the gamut of Americana. Blues, jazz, soul, country - it's all here in measured amounts that are equally convincing. There are no quick cheap thrills here. Steve knows how to slowly add instruments into alignment with each other to build some well constructed tunes. Listen to Fire Somewhere below to get a taste of some Delta blues. The second track below, Walking Down the Line, builds up steam like a train and you can feel it chugging down the tracks.

The second album of the pair, Telescope, will be released in late summer or early fall of this year. Until then, enjoy the following tracks and pick up Waiting For the Lights to Come Up.

Steve Dawson - Fire Somewhere : Waiting For the Lights to Come Up

Steve Dawson - Walking Down the Line : Waiting For the Lights to Come Up

and one from his last album:

Steve Dawson - Slip By : We Belong to the Gold Coast

Visit his label Black Hen Music and become his friend on MySpace.

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