Steve Dawson has been compared to T-Bone Burnett and Ry Cooder. Other comparisons might include Leo Kottke, Kelly Joe Phelps, Norman Blake or the late John Fahey.

But it makes more sense to acknowledge the former Vancouver-based, now Nashville-based, musical renaissance man as one of North America's best roots artists, bridging inspired songwriting, mastery of multiple stringed instruments and creative production.

Dawson wrote Rattlesnake Cage during the latter half of 2013, squeezed in between touring and working on albums for other artists. Self-produced, the 11 instrumental tracks were recorded at his Henhouse Studio.

Sitting alone in front of a vintage tube microphone, salvaged from a Detroit church, and armed with six- and 12-string acoustic, slide and National steel guitars, he produced music that transcends time and place, with nary an overdub or enhanced effect.

This is acoustic guitar music as pure and as intimate as it gets.