Rock & Blues Muse is pleased to premiere Steve Dawson’s video “Long Long Time To Get Old”, the opening track from his forthcoming album, Eyes Closed, Dreaming out March 24th on Black Hen Music.
“Long Long Time To Get Old” (Ian Tyson) is a laidback piece of Southern funk that’s loaded with good vibes and sweet slide guitar work. Dawson steers the track into a Little Feat/Grateful Dead/J.J. Cale lane that’s uplifting and righteous without ever becoming heavy-handed. His slide playing is crisp and spot-on and his vocals are easy and go down smooth. The live-in-the-studio music video for “Long Long Time To Get Old” lets us see Dawson and his ace recording band do their jobs and make their magic happen. If your spirit needs a boost today, this is the song you need.
The Nashville-based Canadian musician Dawson’s newest effort Eyes Closed, Dreaming boasts beautiful melodies, inspired instrumentation and soulful vocal performances. It’s his third record that follows Gone, Long Gone and Phantom Telescope and is his third installment of his “pandemic trilogy”, recorded under lockdown conditions with artists contributing their their parts from various corners of Nashville, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver.
“Long Long Time To Get Old”
As usual, Steve has called on a bunch of his very talented pals, selected from a veritable who’s who of North American roots musicians, to help him bring the new songs to life. His old “Birds of Chicago” partner, Allison Russell, contributed some very stirring vocal support on three tracks, while Nashville legends Fats Kaplin and Tim O’Brien keep pace with Dawson, playing mandolin and various strings on several of the album’s most compelling compositions. Legendary LA drummer Jay Bellerose’s signature sound takes the rhythms to a higher level on five tracks with the rock-solid house band of Gary Craig (drums), Jeremy Holmes (bass) as well as Chris Gestrin and Kevin McKendree (keyboards) guiding the music into some very thrilling territory and holding the course for the rest of the musicians.
Eyes Closed, Dreaming is rounded out with adventurous string arrangements from Ben Plotnik (viola/violin) and Kaitlyn Raitz (cello) as well as a Stax-inspired horn section recorded mid-pandemic in Vancouver with Jerry Cook, Dominic Conway and Malcolm Aiken. Additional vocal textures were skillfully added by Keri Latimer, and Steve’s daughter Casey Dawson.
As Steve’s listeners have come to expect, Eyes Closed, Dreaming features a tasteful assortment of song interpretations. “House Carpenter” sees Dawson breathing new life into this old ancient ballad in a version that picks up where Bert Jansch and Pentangle left off. With intricate guitar work, sympathetic vocals and a wonderful solo from Tim O’Brien, it’s one of the albums many highlights. Ian Tyson’s classic, “Long Time to Get Old,” and the Johnny Cash gem,” Guess Things Happen That Way,” (written by Cowboy Jack Clement) shed light on Dawson’s country side, while an uplifting interpretation of Bobby Charles’ “Small Town Talk” remind listeners that there’s always been a lot of soul lurking in the undercurrents of Steve’s music. John Hartford’s ode to the quiet heroism of a life dedicated to music, “‘Let Him Go on Mama,” is given a sumptuous solo treatment as Dawson’s Weissenborn guitar defines a seductive path to close out the album.
Beautifully recorded, sensitively arranged and played, Eyes Closed, Dreaming, like all of Steve Dawson’s albums is like a master class in composition, melody and counterpoint. From beginning to end, it is quite simply stunning and almost certainly features the most beautiful and engaging music you’ll hear this year.
In addition to his work as an acclaimed recording artist, Steve Dawson’s acclaimed podcast, “Music Makers and Soul Shakers,” is currently in its 6th season and with well over 125 episodes, and is one of the most-respected and followed podcasts on roots and Americana music. In the show, Steve gets into long-form discussions with musicians ranging from legendary session players like Hal Blaine and David Hood, to current recording artists like Sierra Hull, Aoife O’Donovan, Jerry Douglas and Bryan Sutton.
Pre-order Eyes Closed, Dreaming Here
Steve Dawson – Eyes Closed, Dreaming Track Listing
1) Long Time to Get Old
2) A Gift
4) House Carpenter
5) Small Town Talk
6) The Owl
7) Waikiki Stonewall Rag
9) Singin’ the Blues
10) Guess Things Happen That Way
11) Let Him Go On Mama
Steve Dawson website