Here’s the latest single from prolific, Nashville-based Steve Dawson, recorded live at The Studio Nashville by Brook Sutton. The studio version of ‘Twig Bucket’ appears on Dawson’s second album to be released this year, ‘Phantom Threshold’, which is entirely instrumental and is credited this time to Steve Dawson & The Telescope 3. Following the release of ‘Phantom Bucket’, unbelievably, we can look forward to a third song-based album from this hard-working song-writer towards the end of 2022.
The accompanying video for ‘Twig Bucket’ gives us the opportunity to see musicians of the highest quality at work in the studio. The players on show are actually different from those who recorded the album-version; here we see Dennis Crouch on upright bass, Jen Gunderman on keys and drums from Justin Amaral. These are all talented musicians but the most striking performance is from Dawson himself, who delivers exquisite pedal steel. Watching and listening to Steve Dawson on the pedal steel is truly extraordinary and those gliding notes and tones transport you away from wherever you are and into the song. His picking and sliding really is mesmerising and seeing it on video enhances the impact of the song.
Speaking of the song and the players who contributed on the album-version, Dawson told AUK: “‘Twig Bucket’ is a song that started as just a little melody that I had kicking around for a while until I figured out how to orchestrate it a bit more. It was one of the first remote recordings I did during Covid, and we had time to really experiment with songs and textures. Jay Bellerose plays the drums, Jeremy Holmes is on the bass and Chris Gestrin plays all the keyboards. I play all the guitars and steel guitar.”
Steve Dawson wears many hats: he is a guitarist and side-man, song-writer and band leader, producer and label owner, and he even puts out a successful regular podcast called ‘Music Makers and Soul Shakers’. During the pandemic, the seven-time Juno Award-winner kept very busy, writing enough material for the three albums being released this year. It’s an astonishing level of output and must be congratulated. ‘Phantom Threshold’ is in many respects a follow-up to Dawson’s 2008 pedal steel-based instrumental album ‘Telescope’, which is a dreamy, absorbing album to get lost in. The new record has the similar feel of a movie soundtrack and is best listened to in its entirety, as a complete piece of work, allowing your imagination the freedom to create the scenes Dawson’s songs could be accompanying. Check it out.