“A World Without You” – Steve Dawson (single)

4 stars (out of 5)

0

Our first review of 2022 and we thought we should start with a bit of confusion. Of the two Steve Dawsons that we now seem to feature regularly (because they’re both very, very good at what they do). This is the Chicago Steve Dawson as opposed to the Nashville Steve Dawson; the one who released the excellent “At the Bottom of a Canyon, In the Branches of a Tree” in June 2021. Steve had enough finished songs for a double album but “Canyon” was released as a single album; this left an album’s worth of oven-ready songs that Steve now intends to release as singles and possibly an EP. He’s releasing “A World Without You” to coincide with his British mini-tour starting at the Americana Music Association UK showcase in Hackney on January 25th.

The song is an example of a classic understated arrangement. It’s a simple, slow triple-time ballad, with a traditional four-piece backing given an added soulful edge with a sprinkling of piano and organ (courtesy of Alton Smith) and some lovely descending guitar arpeggios. Steve’s notes on the song tell us that he was aiming for a Merle Haggard feel with the song, but there’s also more than a hint of sixties/seventies Southern soul in there as well, Stax ballads or James Carr, maybe. Lyrically, you can interpret “A World Without You” as a straightforward break-up song, but Steve feels it’s more influenced by the loss of his in-laws. Either way, it’s a beautiful soul/country ballad.

“A World Without You” is released the UK on Friday January 21 on PravdaRecords.

You can see Steve Dawson in the UK at these places and dates in January:

Tue 25               London Hackney Social, AMA UK showcase

Wed 26              Leicester* The Musician

Thu 27               Birmingham* Kitchen Garden Cafe

Sat 29                 Sheffield* The Greystones

Sun 30               Carshalton Cryer Arts Centre

*with The Fargo Railroad Co.

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