Although well-known in Canada, Steve Dawson has yet to make a real dent in the American music scene. Considering how everyone here seems to continually drool and cum all over themselves for Americana pop, you'd think they'd all be swarming around Dawson like flies on sherbet. Oh well, once again the folks in Canada get bonus points for producing and recognizing real talent. And speaking of bonus points...Nightshade is yet another resounding success from this incredibly prolific producer/writer/arranger/singer/songwriter. Dawson's vocals have never sounded better...and we've become somewhat addicted to his wonderfully inventive guitar playing. This album is an instant modern day classic. Steve writes songs that sound instantly familiar and they are recorded using traditional instruments. He surrounds himself with the best...all the players on this album provide super solid focused accompaniment. Twelve classy tracks here that should appeal to just about anyone who loves unpretentious music. Our favorites this time around include "Torn and Frayed," "Darker Still," "The Side of the Road," and "The Time It Takes." TOP PICK.