FFWD Weekly - Telescope
Though used sparingly throughout a spectrum of musical genres, the pedal steel guitar has found itself by and large attached to the country, western and roots genres. Leave it to award-winning Canadian producer and guitarist Steve Dawson to plunge the pedal steel front and centre as the lead in the world of jazz and rock music. His latest outing, Telescope, echoes the influence of ubiquitous pedal steel player Greg Leisz, who Dawson studied with in 2005. Shades of Daniel Lanois, particularly Belladonna, can be heard in the way the pedal steel plunges into murky, dark experimental waters.
Dawson has worked with this particular lineup for years, and there’s an evident comfort within the group — bassist Keith Lowe (Bill Frisell, Fiona Apple), keyboardist Chris Gestrin (Randy Bachman, K-OS) and drummer Scott Amendola (T.J. Kirk, Bill Frisell, Madeline Peyroux) blissfully interweave melodic lines to such an extent, Dawson must be silently conducting or telepathically communicating what he wants achieved. It’s a shining example of a talented producer knowing the boundaries of an instrument, and then breaking them.