Totem Figures Interview with Steve Dawson

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Steve Dawson, playing guitarSteve Dawson has octopus-nimble fingers that were blessed by some sort of wizard with a giant record collection. He's won five Junos, Canada's top music award, for producing, playing and songwriting. He heads up his own label: Black Hen Music. His totems and influences are wide and varied, and in this interview he talks about Leo Kottke, Ry Cooder, The Band, Bill Frisell and Daniel Lanois. 

Listen to the podcast here

Check out Steve Dawson's website for news, recordings and live dates.

This podcast is replete with music. Here are the song titles, artists, and album names, in the order they’re used.

The Driving of the Year Nail - Leo Kottke - 6 and 12 String Guitar

Big Bully - Steve Dawson - Bug Parade

The Spanish Entomologist - Leo Kottke - from a live recording in Worcester, MA in 1973

Crow Black Chicken - Ry Cooder - Boomer’s Story

I Can Tell By the Way You Smell - Ry Cooder - Get Rhythm

Vigilante Man - Ry Cooder - Into the Purple Valley

Chain Gang - Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - from a live recording in Santa Cruz, 1987.

My Walking Stick - Jim Byrnes - My Walking Stick

The Band - Rockin’ Chair - The Band

Bacon Fat - Levon and the Hawks - from the Band’s box set The Band: A Musical History

Home Cookin’ - The Band - from The Band: A Musical History

Tales from the Far Side - Bill Frisell - Tales from the Far Side

Shucks - Bill Frisell - Nashville

The Pioneers - Bill Frisell - Good Dog, Happy Man

Chris Gestrin - Steve Dawson - Telescope

Shame About It - Zubot and Dawson - Chicken Scratch

Everywhere I Go - Willie Nelson - Teatro

Same Brown Earth - Latin Playboys - Latin Playboys

Slipknot - Steve Dawson - Bug Parade


Watch Steve Dawson in action, playing pedal steel guitar as part of a three piece band.


If you were enjoying Ry Cooder's band doing Chain Gang, here it is in full (and every song from that concert is worth watching - they're all on youtube). 


Leo Kottke plays The Last Steam Engine Train, a song that makes you glad to be alive. 


Daniel Lanois sings the title track from his album Shine, an intimate, cool, personal and precise performance. 


The Band, doing It Makes No Difference, at The Last Waltz. That's bassist Rick Danko with his heart bleeding through his performance on lead vocals. 

 Bill Frisell's output is incredibly varied, from avant-garde jazz to soundtracks to Buster Keaton films to John Lennon covers, or this song, from his album Nashville

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