Funeral Bonsai Wedding now available

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.”   – St. Louis Riverfront Times

FBW Cover -CatapultSteve Dawson with
Jason Adasiewicz – vibraphone
Jason Roebe – upright bass
Frank Rosaly – drums

available on LP/CD from the official online store

Available from these fine retailers!
Chicago area:
Dusty Groove Records: 1120 N Ashland Ave
Reckless Records: 1532 N Milwaukee Ave
Union Handmade:  3860 N Lincoln Ave
Laurie’s Planet of Sound: 4639 N Lincoln Ave
Different Strummer: 4544 N. Lincoln Ave
Permanent Records: 1914 W Chicago Ave
St Louis:
Euclid Records: 19 N Gore Ave, St Louis, MO 63119

also available from, and streaming on Spotify, Rdio,

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”

“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