Steve Dawson’s last disc was recorded solo and at various studios while on tour. This one is more prepared, done with a band in one studio with a horn section, a fiddle player and backup singers. The band is Colin Linden’s: John Dymond on bass & Gary Craig on drums and they back this guitar wizard well indeed. Dawson’s new songs are all excellent and Fats Kaplin’s fiddle & viola play an important part of several of them. “Loose Ends” opens the disc with Dawson on electric slide singing about those late night thoughts, one in particular. A most imaginative slide solo is a highlight but the horns and backup singers add a great deal to a fine song. “Broken Future Blues” has a lovely acoustic guitar base and his pairing it with an electric one, or maybe two, is particularly inventive. Kaplin shines on “Leave My Name Behind” while the baritone saxes and the guitars do the heavy lifting. Dawson works his magic on a couple of traditional songs as well: Riley Pucket’s “Can’t Put That Monkey On My Back” is stunning and Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers’ “Riley’s Hen House Door”, which gets an extraordinary workout from Dawson on acoustic slide, a solo treat. These are the edgier of the songs on this generous 14-song disc, the others lean towards country and Americana but are none the worse for that. You’ll be astounded at the work he’s put into his guitar sound and his vocals will seriously impress you as well. He’s making a rare local appearance on May 17 at the Burdock, 1184 Bloor near Lansdowne.