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Hear Funeral Bonsai Wedding on WBEZ-FM Chicago
Steve Dawson, Jason Adasiewicz, Frank Rosaly, Jason Roebke

Video for the album’s first single, “As Soon As I Walk In”

 

“One of the most underrated songwriters in American music, Chicago-native Steve Dawson has been helming influential rock band Dolly Varden since the early ’90s, producing humane and hooky solo records, collaborating with his wife Diane Christiansen and digging into soul on side projects. His newest venture is Funeral Bonsai Wedding, a jazz-folk collaboration that flashes with the vibraphone of Jason Adasiewicz on impressionistic but memorable arrangements that recall the best of Tim Buckley or Astral Weeks-era Van Morrison. Those may seem like lofty notices, but Dawson has a way with melody and image that live up to them.”
Roy Kasten – St. Louis Riverfront Times

“Steve Dawson is known as the primary architect behind Dolly Varden, the much-loved Chicago folk-pop ensemble, as well as for his solo albums where he indulged a love of Southern soul. Funeral Bonsai Wedding is a new incarnation and one that expands his strengths through collaboration with a group of improvisational jazz musicians who give space and mood to his lyrical themes. The feeling is similar to a string of albums Van Morrison made in the 1980s where jazz inflections and tone poems having to do with childhood and Christianity resulted in transcendent music that floated back and forth between the far pockets of distant memory and present day awakenings. Dawson and his new band — vibist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Frank Rosaly — follow similar territory on their self-titled debut album. The nine-minute opening song “Ezra Pound and the Big Wood River,” connects images from Dawson’s childhood in rural Utah and casts them in a call-and-response with the clatter and bounce of the music. These are pungent images and many of them haunting: “Where Hemingway blasted off his own head/Caddisflies creep through the riverbed/When we smashed the slime heads on the rocks/I felt a part of my soul got lost,” he sings. Adasiewicz’s vibraphone especially lines these songs in a dream, even on the album’s single rock song (“Anywhere You Landed”) where they chime steadily amid the dense churn of guitars and rhythm. On “Harmonium Song,” the instruments clang, shiver, and drone underneath Dawson’s testimonial vocals. “The Valley of the Whale” similarly showcases the deep sensibilities the musicians share with the words. What makes these songs seductive is that nothing is pinned down, but everything has weight. Some images blend banality and panic — “A line formed around the ice cream shop desperate to beat the heat/As sirens split wide the late August air” — creating the sense that atop the sheen of all this Americana, there are cracks.”- Mark Guarino – Chicago Sun Times

 

live photo by Rachel Drew
Friday, September 12th: The Constellation
3111 North Western Ave, Chicago, 9:30pm $12.00
with special guests: Robbie Fulks, Diane Christiansen
and the Bonsettes (Rachel Drew, Shelley Miller and Diane Christiansen)
opening set by Rock Falls

Saturday, September 13th: The Stage at KDHX
3524 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO 8pm $10 / $12
with Cave States

Buy CD or LP from official online store
iTunes
Amazon

Steve Dawson, perhaps best known as the main singer and songwriter for Chicago roots / folk / pop band, Dolly Varden, has put together a new group with three of the city’s most revered improvising musicians: Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Frank Rosaly (drums), and Jason Roebke (bass). This new band, Funeral Bonsai Wedding, will release it’s debut album on Tuesday, Sept 30th. The songs seek to find a common ground between Dawson’s folk-rock based narrative songwriting and singing, and the expansive push and pull of these brilliant improvising musicians. Listen to the first single, “In The Glow,” featuring special guest harmony vocals by Diane Christiansen (Dolly Varden)

Pre order Funeral Bonsai Wedding now at iTunes

Pre order the Limited Edition vinyl LP or Compact Disc
at the official online store

Record Release Celebration Concerts:
*Friday, September 12th: Constellation, Chicago.
advance tickets on sale now here

*Saturday, September 13th: The Stage at KDHX, St. Louis.
advance tickets on sale here

Thank You!

August 4, 2014

Thanks so much to all the generous people who participated in the Pledge Music campaign for my new Funeral Bonsai Wedding album with Jason Roebke, Jason Adasiewicz, and Frank Rosaly. The Pledge campaign is now closed and everyone who joined in has gotten the digital download version of the album. The CD’s pre-ordered through Pledge […]

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1 day left!!

July 25, 2014

The Pledge Music campaign for the Funeral Bonsai Wedding project closes tomorrow. That means there’s 1 more day left to pre-order the album and have the music delivered directly to you 8 weeks before the official release date, along with access to all the exclusive behind-the-scenes updates, videos, “covers” CD,  and more… Funeral Bonsai Wedding […]

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