A long-time Vancouver resident now living in Nashville, TN, Juno-winning artist Steve Dawson is a man of many talents. Guitarist, singer, producer, arranger, session musician, and label owner – Dawson is a busy man with a resume a mile long.
“I like it all. The part I like least is the physical travel. But the playing and being in new places is great as a performer and sideman. The production side I love as well because I get to spend so much concentrated time on music. I feel the most creative when I’m recording and producing, but there’s no way I could stop playing live. As far as juggling it all, it can get a little hairy, but I don’t really think about it. It’s all just work like anybody else does, and I’m glad to have it,” said Dawson.
Although Dawson is now based in ‘Music City’, he still stays in touch with his friends and fellow performers in Canada. His Henhouse Studio is able to accommodate guests and he’s hosted many Canadians there as visitors and to work with on the production end. If fact, he’s made about 15 albums for Canadians since he arrived in Nashville, a city he’s grown to love.
“It’s very vibrant. There’s so much going on under the surface. I’m not involved in much new country at all, so I don’t pay attention to it. There are so many great musicians and writers that it’s overwhelming sometimes. I’m invigorated by what the city has to offer and have met a great crew of people I work with regularly and seem to really gel with. I’m enjoying that part, and just playing as much as I can.”
As for his own recordings, Dawson recently released his seventh, full-length release, Solid States and Loose Ends (Black Hen). Backup on the album was provided by Gary Craig (drums) and John Dymond (bass), two players who will work with him at his Music Club gig, along with Mike Bub (bass), Kevin McKendree (piano/organ), and Fats Kaplin (fiddle).
“I feel like it’s an organic and bluesy record, although I don’t consider myself a blues artist. Just someone who has been greatly influenced by it as well as many other things. But the drive and groove of the album is overall influenced the most by blues and soul records from the 50’s and 60’s. I wanted to capture that feel without at all trying to recreate a ‘retro’ sound or feel. I just like that era of music and want that to come across in what I do.”
Always on the go, Dawson is currently touring in support of Solid States and Loose Ends. Following a May 11 show in Hamilton, ON, he’ll make the short drive down the 401 for his gig at the London Music Club, a date he’s eagerly looking forward to.
“I played in London a couple of years ago and loved it. It’ll really be the first full gig I’ve ever done with John and Gary. I’ve played with them a lot over the last couple of years, but always short gigs, or in the studio, so this will be a really fun night to be able to stretch out a bit and have some fun with my music. Some old blues, country and maybe even a little Hawaiian stuff to round it all out!”