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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Black Hen Music artist: Steve Dawson - Rattlesnake Cage - New Release Review

I have just received the newest release, Rattlesnake Cage, by Steve Dawson and it's excellent! Opening with Blind Thomas At The Crime Scene Dawson wastes no time showing that clean finger picked acoustic music without a lot of showboating is alive and well. If you like Leo Kottke or Gary Davis, you're bound to appreciate this first number. Excellent! Flophouse Oratory is a fast paced country style blues track on slide acoustic guitar reminiscent again of Kottke. I really like this track and it's clean excellent execution. The Medicine Show Comes To Avalon, a cool rag trck with a carousel melody is very sweet and well executed. Swapping over to resonator for Rattlesnake Cage, Dawson retains his finger picking rudiment but is more aggressive as demanded by the instrument and adds a very nice sliding component. Lighthouse Avenue I believe is played on a (Michael Dunn) Weissenborn ... and a sweet melody through such a warm instrument with beautiful harmonics. Butterfly Stunt is really a cool track with a hot mix of swift moving picked riffs and smooth slide riffs again I believe on the Weissenborn. Very nice! While The West Was Won, The Earth Didn't Know It is a roaming soundtrack like theme. It seems to tell it's own story with scenes and views. The finger picking is nicely complimented with slide riffs making it a very interesting journey. J.R. Lockley's Dilemna has a little bit of a Nashville like feel but keeping the with the clean acoustic non "country" style authentic picking and slide riffs. This is another very nice track reminiscent of Kottke near the top pf his game. Very nice. The Flagpole Skater Laughs From Above is masterfully executed on 12 string guitar.There is really not many things as cool as nearing someone who really knows how to manage a 12 string well. The melodic nuances of this track are playful and plentiful. Chunky is a swift slider I believe again on Weissenborn. Played with a lot of feeling and flawless execution it continues to reinforce Dawson's accomplishment as a top acoustic player. The release is wrapped by The Alter At Center Raven, a very cool track with a solid melody. Without saying a word, Steve Dawson says a lot on this release.

If you love acoustic guitar picking especially in the style of Kottke/Lang and John Hurt/Gary Davis, this is a treasure.

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Although not from the new release, this is a fine example of Steve's Work:

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