May 27, 2020

Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding: Last Flight Out

photo: Matthew Gilson

The words on the three windows of a florist shop in Chicago struck a nerve with Steve Dawson and gave him the name for his new band Funeral Bonsai Wedding. With vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, drummer Charles Rumback and bassist Jason Roebke, regulars on the Windy City jazz scene he released a self-titled debut album in 2016, For the new album Last Flight Out they upped the and used the services of Quartet Parapluie, an seasoned all-female ensemble who played with Belle and Sebastian and Iron & Wine.

Steve Dawson is from the Americana country rock school, so getting into a jazzy crooner mode is way outside his comfort zone, but he pulls it off with flying colours. His storytelling capabilities made an easy transfer to the lush, orchestrated songs, flawlessly arranged by Jason Adasiewicz. His vibraphone is often the lead instrument, its tinkling sound leading the way.

Dawson sings about a murder in the street and how to cope with that in While We Were Staring Into Our Palms, turning it into a plea "to try to be kind" - a recurring theme through the album. The bully in The Monkey Mind Is On The Prowl won't have the last laugh after all is said and done. Last Flight Out is a record that taps the listener softly on the shoulder, asking to join him in his new mellow mood, where love and beauty still can have a place against all odds. Just be patient. like he is in However Long It Takes, and surrender to the flow.

Steve Dawson & Funeral Bonsai Wedding:
Steve Dawson: acoustic guitar, vocals
Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone
Jason Roebke: double bass
Charles Rumback: drums
Melissa Bach: cello
Vannia Phillips: viola
Inger Carle: violin
Andra Kulans: violin
Diane Christiansen: harmony vocals
Jenny Bienemann: harmony vocals
Alton Smith: harmony vocals

Last Flight Out is a self-released album. Buy it (180g vinyl, digital) from his website.

Side A:
  1. Last Flight Out
  2. Mastodons
  3. However Long It Takes
  4. Parapluie de Roebke
Side B:
  1. The Monkey Mind Is On The Prowl
  2. While We Were Staring Into Our Palms
  3. It's Not What You Think


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