Steve Dawson

Rattlesnake Cage (Black Hen Music)

This musician’s musician finds the ideal setup for a solo recording with a 50-year-old microphone. With no overdubs and four prized guitars including a 12-string and National steel, Dawson’s virtuosity and imagination are front and centre, reminiscent of albums in the 1970s by John Fahey and Leo Kottke. He has fun with titles like “Flophouse Oratory” and “The Flagpole Skater Laughs from Above,” considering Rattlesnake Cage is all instrumental. It gives the listener something to ponder besides how 10 fingers can generate this cascade of tones. Such amiable, skillful playing should give pause to those feel like visionaries upon pressing a few buttons.

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