into the new year

I’m gonna lay low for a while and focus on writing and digging deeper. 2017 was devastating in so many ways. 2018 is the year to re-energize and restore faith in the power of words and music, and to work toward positive change instead of focusing on outrage and anger. So, very few shows in the first half of the year. I AM excited that my friend ellen cherry will be back in town for a house concert on March 10th… at our house! If you want information on that, sign up for the mailing list over there on the right. I’ll send an announcement around in a couple weeks. Tickets will be limited. It’ll be Diane and I doing a duet set and ellen cherry and Andrew Grim both playing. More soon…

September 2017 Residency at the Hideout

I am very excited to announce that I will be doing a residency in September at the Hideout. Here are the details: Monday, Sept 4th: Dolly Varden will play “The Panic Bell” on the 10th anniversary of the album, followed by a set of new songs slated for our 7th album. I’ve been actively writing and the band has been recording since March. We’re about halfway through making a new record. We’re recording at my home studio, Kernel Sound Emporium. Tickets and more info here Monday, Sept 11th: Steve Dawson and Mark Caro’s “Take It To The Bridge” Bridge-tacular featuring Kelly Hogan, Casey McDonough, Nora O’Connor, Rachel Drew, Gerald Dowd, Bill Brickey, Alton Smith and others. Based on the title of the songwriting book I co-wrote with Mark Caro, “Take It To The Bridge: Unlocking The Great Songs Inside You,” we’ve asked some of Chicago’s best singers to sing songsContinue readingSeptember 2017 Residency at the Hideout


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,Continue readingJune


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 similarContinue readingSPRING 2017