Like Ry Cooder and Sonny Landreth, Steve Dawson wrangles slide guitars for a living. He, too, has the gift for making every stab, sweep, swerve, and steely shakedown work in service of the collective song – to cast a mood, paint a scene, send a shiver – rather than vice versa. By getting a good bottlenecking, the assortment of electrics and acoustics, National steels and pedal steels become expressive vehicles for these roots-rock rambles. Such has been Dawson’s signature on albums he’s produced for folks like Jim Byrnes as well as on the handful of his own. After 2014’s Rattlesnake Cage stripped down to the barest of solo acoustic instrumentals, Solid States & Loose Ends marks a return to form with vocals, electricity, and a band rich with the kind of rustic details for which Canada’s answer to T-Bone Burnett has grown to be revered. That’s not to say he’s averse to working alone and unplugged again, as Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers bygone hillbilly tale of “The Henhouse Door” confirms. But with accordions and mandolins, fiddles and a pump organ among the available textures, Dawson is back to fully coloring this blend of originals, traditionals, and even a revision of soul man Joe Tex’s “You Got What It Takes” that works the strings muddy bottom as much as their bright high-end. “Final Words” philosophizes atop a meld of horns, Farfisa, a mellotron’s simulated string symphony – and, of course, superelastic slide. The clarity of Dawson’s voice only heightens that tube-warmed haze of amplified getting stressed beyond their comfort zone by all this steel-on-steel snarling.