NEW DOLLY VARDEN ALBUM IN THE WORKS I’m pleased to report that we’ve had two very productive all-day recording sessions and we already have the bulk of 6 songs tracked. We’re recording at my home studio, Kernel Sound Emporium. I’d say we’re looking at an early 2018 release at this point. That could change as we move along. I’ll keep you all posted! RESIDENCY AT THE HIDEOUT IN SEPTEMBER I’m VERY excited to announce that I’ll be doing a residency at the Hideout in Chicago in September. Here’s the info so far: Monday, 9/4: Dolly Varden plays “The Panic Bell” We’ll play the full album to celebrate it’s 10th anniversary, then we’ll play a bunch of the new songs we’re working on for our next album Monday, 9/11: The Take It To The Bridge All Star Bridge-Tacular! Some of Chicago’s best singers will perform their favorite songs with great bridges, at this celebration for Steve and Mark Caro’s songwriting book. Slated to perform are: Kelly Hogan, Gerald Dowd, Casey McDonough, Nora O’Connor, Rachel Drew and more, this could change due to various touring schedules, etc. Monday, 9/25: Funeral Bonsai Wedding with Strings Myself, Jason Adasiewicz, Jason Roebke and Gerald Dowd […]


I thought I’d write a bit about what I’m up to because I keep having people ask me what I’m up to and I can’t seem to answer. I just stand there and stare back. The nearly 2-year long election process and it’s unexpected aftermath have left me in a near constant state of disbelief. Stunned by the fact that we live in a country where basically half the people are more or less fine with a cartoonishly cruel and ignorant man-child like Donald Trump as president, I have had trouble seeing the point of making up new songs. Plenty of people are saying that art is more important now than ever. That is probably true. I find that I am slowly slowly getting some inspiration and drive back. Then back into the pit of existential despair for a day or two. I imagine you are probably in a similar deal. Pretty much everyone I know is. I have been writing stuff off and on since Funeral Bonsai Wedding was recorded in 2014 and I’ve accumulated a little stack of songs that I don’t hate. I have been trying to heed Stevie Wonder’s plea to fill the world with LOVE […]

Upcoming Shows – March and April

FITZGERALD’S FRIDAY, APRIL 21ST 7:30pm opening for Jenny Bienemann’s CD release of “Every Soul Grows To The Light” Steve Dawson with Mark Balletto (from Dolly Varden), Jason Adasiewicz, and John Abbey 6615 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn $10

Talking About Songwriting with Elysabeth Alfano – Podcast

I had the great fortune recently to chat with Elysabeth Alfano of The Dinner Party, about music, songwriting and the new book, “Take It To The Bridge: Unlocking The Great Songs Inside You,” that I co-wrote with Mark Caro. We talk about what first got me interested in guitar and songwriting and dig into the songwriting process. Elysabeth is a great, enthusiastic interviewer and I sang a couple of songs live. Give it a listen! LISTEN THE PODCAST NOW

Goodbye, 2016

As we close the books on 2016 I thought I’d reflect a bit. For me, creatively, it was a year of collaborations and long-term projects finally getting finished and released: The Thread A the long-distance songwriting collaboration with Baltimore singer / songwriter ellen cherry. Our EP, “The Thread,” was released mid-way through the year and I am very pleased with the results. It was a true collaboration in that we both gave it our best over many years of hard work – some of it face to face and some of it via the internets. Thanks, ellen cherry! The Book Another big project that was finally released this year is the book on songwriting and the creative process co-written with Mark Caro, “Take It To The Bridge: Unlocking The Great Songs Inside You.” We’ve been working on it for years – passing emails and calls back and forth – and it feels good to have it out and available through GIA publishing, who have been really wonderful through the whole process. We had two big events that were both very celebratory and affirming and the book is being well-received. It is available on Amazon.com and direct from the publisher, GIA. […]