Steve Dawson Interview

(Originally aired on January 19, 2012)

Listening to Dawson's latest album Nightshade, it's clear why the session wizard is one of Canada's most sought-after producers and musical collaborators. His songs offer a compelling blend of tight grooves and dark, haunted lyrics and his guitar sounds are varied and arresting. Whether Dawson is fretting gritty solos, playing burning bottleneck blues, laying down wicked Weissenborn licks or soaring on pedal steel, his timing, tone and dynamics are impeccable. Dawson draws on Duane Allman, Ry Cooder, Steve Cropper, Leo Kottke, Dominos-era Eric Clapton and the more pensive side of Jimi Hendrix to create a soulful guitar orchestra.

Dawson has nabbed seven Juno Awards for his solo albums and production work, and he received international acclaim for producing Things About Comin' My Way a tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks that included Madeleine Peyroux, Bruce Cockburn, John Hammond and Bill Frisell.

In our exclusive interview, Dawson explains how he recorded Nightshade his fifth solo album and details his creative process. We'll hear selections from Nightshade throughout the feature and also learn about Dawson's fascination with the pedal steel.