Dolly Varden

Steve Dawson of Dolly Varden talks to Rick Cornell about why he moved to Chicago, listening to sad songs in the 70's and taking his own song writing advice.

Plus rock and roll from Javi Garcia, southern rock from the Deadstring Brothers, from David Hardin, a Carl Perkins cover by Willie Nelson, string band music from Woody Pines, altcoutnry from Gurf Morlix, country form Ronnie Fauss, and roots rock from Beth Lee and the Breakups.

Dolly VardenDolly Varden

Dolly Varden

Interview Recap

Rick Cornell and Steve Dawson of Dolly Varden start out talking about the soul singer Laura Lee.

Steve Dawson talks about the the release of Dolly Varden's latest album For A While. They talk about the CD release party at the City Winery in Chicago. The show was packed and sold out.

Steve Dawson talks about the history of Dolly Varden. Steve moved to Chicago in the late 80s right out of college. He went to the Berkeley School of Music. He moved to Chicago because he heard it was a city hungry for music and he says that proved to be true. One of the first people he met was Diane Christiansen whom he's now been married to for 22 years. Their first band together was called Stump The Host, which lasted until the mid 90's. It was a little more twangy than Dolly Varden. The band broke up but they still wanted to play music but they got a new rhythm section and they formed Dolly Varden in the mid 90's and the band has been together ever since.

Steve Dawson says it's been five years since their last album because everyone has other stuff to do.

Steve Dawson sets up “For A While,” He says he wrote this song as a simple finger-picked song which wasn't going anywhere. But Diane took it over and they changed a few chords and she made it a special Dolly Varden song.

[Rick plays “For A While “ from For A While by Dolly Varden.]

Steve Dawson talks about the song writing on the album. Steve basically wrote all the songs except for a couple that were co-writes with Diane. “I teach song writing classes her in Chicago. I've been doing that for about five years. And I think I've finally started taking my own advice. I always tell people in class to write about what you now and use details and not be too obscurist. Over the years I've learned to be more direct.”

Steve Dawson sets up “Delmar, 1976.” He says it's filled with very early memories

[Rick plays “Delmar, 1976: from For A While by Dolly Varden]

Rick Cornell asks about the references to “sad songs in the 70's.” Steve says he remembers hearing songs by Melissa Manchester and songs like “Desperado” by the Eagles. Steve says, “I have a soft spot for those songs.”

Steve Dawson talks about touring Scotland with Dolly Varden. He says people reminded him that Scotland is where country music comes from. Steve says they've been touring the UK for about 10 years.

Steve Dawson plays “Walking The Chalk Line Again.” Steve says that on his Scotland tour several people told him it was their favorite song. He says this is a song he had to lobby the other members of Dolly Varden to include on the album.

[Rick plays “Walking the Chalk Line Again” from For A While by Dolly Varden.]

Rotation 356

  • Josephine / Javi Garcia / The Great Controversy / 4:29
  • Long Lonely Ride / Deadstring Brothers / Cannery Row / 3:34
  • Gospel 101 / David Hardin / Miles of Nowhere / 3:37
  • Matchbox / Willie Nelson & Family / Let's Face The Music And Dance / 2:40
  • Who told Ya ? / Woody Pines / Rabbits Motel / 2:31
  • Lookin' For You / Gurf Morlix / Gurf Morlix Finds The Present Tense / 5:09
  • The Last / Ronnie Fauss / I Am The Man You Know I'm Not / 3:47
  • Every Time We Touch / Beth Lee & The Breakups / One More Time Again / 3:15

Americana Music Show


The Americana Music Show is podsafe and copyright 2013 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists.


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