Dawson could have called this "So You Think You Can Play Guitar", but he's probably much too humble for that. The renowned player and producer has been behind, and in front of some of the best roots albums made in Canada (Zubot & Dawson, Jim Byrnes, Roxanne Potvin, The Sojourners, Old Man Luedecke), including his own, but this time it's hands-on, and only hands. The all-acoustic, all-instrumental album shows Dawson as not just a tremendous player, but a tremendously soulful one. Words and voice would only clutter the message and emotion pouring out of these melodies. As much as you have to admire the jaw-dropping dexterity, it's best just to sit back and be transported. There's a story in every number, whether he's chattering away with the finger-picking, or pointing skywards with the slide.
Close-mic'ed to get every subtle harmonic, means you get the occasional little noise too, an extra knock on the wood or clatter on the strings, but it hardly matters, it's the experience of a one-take, beautiful performance. Fans of the genre will hear the old bluesmen, or the best of the folk players, but there's lots of modern too, changes and attitudes that come from growth and exploring, very much today. Yes, it's an acoustic guitar fan's dream, but it's much more for whatever you need. Meditative at times, explosive at others, you can easily get lost in its winding path, wonder where an hour went, and wonder why you are suddenly uplifted.