One of Canada’s most sought after producers and musicians in shining form on his sparkling seventh solo album

If you are a fan of slide guitar, you are gonna love this guy. Steve Dawson is a GREAT slide player, has a distinctive tenor voice and is a very gifted songwriter. The best of Nashville and Canada’s session players appear on these 14 superb songs too. What’s not to like?

            The Juno (Canadian Grammy) award-winning guitarist Dawson usually found writing for, playing for and/or producing other artists at his own Henhouse Studio in Music City. He takes centre stage here. Berklee-trained Dawson in his element on his seventh solo album, which sits on a solid blues foundation but veers off into country, Americana, folk, soul, gospel and more. Roots at its very best.

            There are acres of light and shade. Often a less is more approach, but the kitchen sink available when required; with horn-soaked (Jim Hoke arrangements) groove, marinated with blissful backing vocals from Regina and Ann McCrary. There are two traditional songs with his own arrangements, one cover; the Joe Tex belter You Got What It Takes, the rest of the dozen written by Steve. He multi tasks on electric and acoustic guitars, pedal steel, national steel, pump organ, Dobro and more.

Highlights include Riley Puckett’s classic Monkey On My Back, The Skillet Lickers, The Henhouse Door and the Joe Tex cut. Puts me in mind of the likes of Tony Joe White, the UK’s Bryn Haworth and 1970s Clapton, before he went all corporate on us.

            It screams out with groove and above all else; feel. He is the real deal when it comes to conjuring up feel. Ry Cooder, Lowell George and his Little Feat pals, Bonnie Raitt and now Steve Dawson always had/have “the feel” well and truly nailed. No loose ends here.