Monday Magazine - Telescope
Back in 1999, a friend who knows my taste in music introduced me to a duo called Zubot and Dawson. Their first album, Strang, established their distinctive sound—a unique blend of Steve Dawson’s Weissenborn lap guitar and Jesse Zubot’s violin. I was hooked! After several Z&B;releases, Dawson has gone on to become a prolific producer and sideman and has released several excellent solo CDs on his Vancouver-based Black Hen label. Telescope, his latest, is one of two new CDs from him in 2008. This all-instrumental album features his new passion, pedal steel guitar. He has used the same core players as his last release, Waiting For The Lights To Come Up, with Keith Lowe on bass, Chris Gestrin on keyboards and Scott Amendola on drums plus a few guests. But it is Steve himself, on pedal steel, guitar, lap guitar, ukulele and various unusual keyboards, who is the star here. From the opener “Caballero’s Dream,” which Clint Eastwood could use in a duster flick, to “Speaker Damage,” “Nailbiter” and ”Fun Machine Two,” it is a never-ending variety of styles and sounds, with pedal steel right up front. It is a great CD, and shows the pedal steel is not just a country instrument anymore.