Steve Dawson September Residency

Steve Dawson September Residency

Steve Dawson was born in San Diego, raised in Idaho, and currently lives in Chicago. His songs show evidence of all 3 places - California folk-rock (The Byrds, Neil Young, Elliott Smith), the country music he heard growing up in Idaho, and Chicago’s R&B, soul and jazz. Dawson first picked up guitar at age 12 and began writing songs almost immediately. His first professional gig was playing honky tonk guitar with Cadillac Carl and the Road Rangers at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Bellevue, Idaho at age 16. After high school, Dawson attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying jazz composition and songwriting, while also performing in the local folk music scene. In the early 90’s Dawson moved to Chicago. Upon his arrival he met Diane Christiansen and they formed the band Stump the Host, which became a training ground and a showcase for Dawson’s eclectic writing. In 1995 Stump The Host changed personal and evolved into a new band, Dolly Varden, releasing the first of five albums that would reflect the growing craft and depth of his songs. Critics from Rolling Stone, Uncut, and the Village Voice, among many others, have praised Dawson's gift for melody and lyrics. Dolly Varden has toured all across the US and Europe over the last 14 years. In 2006 Undertow records released Dawson's first solo album, Sweet Is The Anchor, a collection of quiet, layered songs recorded in Steve's home studio. Critics noted Dawson's heightened strength as both a songwriter and singer, combining elements of country and soul. I will miss the trumpets and the drums was recorded over the last 2 years in Dawson’s home studio. In addition to performing and recording Dawson teaches songwriting at the world famous Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

Funeral Bonsai Wedding w/Strings

Steve Dawson, best known for his work with Dolly Varden, has joined forces with some of Chicago’s most inventive and acclaimed jazz musicians to create the improbable Funeral Bonsai Wedding. The group features three of the most revered musicians in the improvisational jazz world: Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Gerald Dowd on drums, and Jason Roebke on bass.


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