Looking Up at the Same Star
This is the second collaboration between Dawson Cowals and producer/musician extraordinaire, Nick Garrett-Powell, and Dawson's 12th full-length recording. Taking a new bent and direction from his entirely acoustic previous release, 'Coffee Shop Songs,' this new project explores Dawson's creative song stylings; offerings range from acoustic guitar and violin ballads to hard-rock funk, haunting choral vignettes all the way to French language hip-hop. Nick once again showcases his amazing harmonies and diverse arrangements, but really shines in his expressive electric guitar leads borrowing inspiration from the likes of Knopfler and Satriani. Joining Dawson and Nick on this project is the percussion prodigy, Nick James, who manages to capture Dawson's many intricate rhythmic and timing changes and really helps rock the project up several notches. This CD is a special collection of love & wedding songs that Dawson has written over the last 10 years for friends and performed at their weddings. The majority of the album includes recent love songs that he has written for his own wife, especially 'Cord of Three Strands' which he sang as a proposal in the Fall of 2008. The album starts off with an upbeat rock tune about how they met through an online dating service and features a humorous modem dial-up sequence as a solo break. The rock ballad, 'Same Star', continues to further the story of their relationship and give the title for the album through the lyric: 'Now we go outside at night / Hand in hand we pass 'neath the streetlights / So we can look up into the sky / Together look up at the same star.' The highlight on the album is the hip-hop track 'Mon étoile filante' which Dawson wrote entirely in French and sings of how his wife is 'My shooting star, my jewel from heaven, my gift from God above.' The album ends with a couple of bonus acoustic versions of some of the earlier songs to highlight Dawson's signature pinch-slap, percussive picking technique. The final track is a short reprise of the song 'Starting' featuring just Dawson's vocals and Nick's amazing harmonies. All in all this is a great modern collection of love songs that provides many new choices to replace some of the more antiquated tracks normally heard at most weddings. Highly recommended for fans of Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman, Matt Nathanson, and Joshua Radin.