Better the Devil You Know, his sixth solo release, is the follow-up to award winning Canadian Big Dave McLean's 2015 Black Hen Music debut Faded But Not Gone. The project was produced and mixed by Steve Dawson at his own Henhouse Studio in Nashville where 12 of the 13 tracks were recorded. Dawson also plays on a variety of st8ring instruments. The selections include five penned by McLean, one by Dawson, and one he co-wrote, a pair credited as traditional and four covers. Better the Devil You Know opens with the original "Life on the Road" with Steve on electric guitar as Big Dave sings of being a travelling musician. This is followed by Muddy's 'You Can't Lose What You Never Had' with some bristling National steel guitar layered with other guitar parts and Kevin McKendree's piano. The traditional song 'You'll Need Somebody On Your Bond" arranged by Steve features Ann and Regina McCrary on backing vocals, Dave on harmonica, Steve on pedal steel and Fats Kaplin on fiddle. Steve plays banjo on 'Angeline' which he co-wrote with James Perry and also features DAve on harp and Kaplin on fiddle. The fast paced 'I Need You' and the slower driving 'Where the Music Comes From' are both McLean's tunes. Alt country/Americana artist Parker Millsap's 'Old Time Religion' and alt country artist Jeffrey Hatcher's 'Deliver Me' are both given the Black Hen treatment of multiple layered stringed instruments. The traditional 'Pet Rabbit' was arranged by McLean and recorded at Third Man Record booth and has the sound of a long lost 78 record from the 1920's or early 1930's. Highly recommended.