I’ve recently found a few articles about Ewan Dobson in my mailbox. The Canadian fingerstyle guitarist is currently touring the U.S. for the third time and getting some well-deserved press along the way.
I decided to check out his YouTube channel, and I’m glad I did. This video for his song “Time 2” is great, from the playing to the melody to the palm muting and effective use of delay. The video has received more than 18 million views as of this post, so I realize I come to the party quite late. But for anyone who has yet to hear Dobson, by all means give it a listen.
The classically trained guitarist has already made a name for himself in his own country. In 2009, he was crowned the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Champion at the fifth annual Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition in Kingston, Ontario. He then captured first prize in the acoustic category at the fourth Montreal Guitar Grand Prix.
But metal fans may also know Dobson his work with his pal Marty Friedman on the former Megadeth guitarist’s 2014 album, Inferno. Friedman cowrote the album track “Horrors” with Jason Becker, his onetime coguitarist in the late-Eighties metal band Cacophony. As guitar fans know, Becker now suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and can no longer play guitar. To record “Horrors,” Friedman brought in Dobson, who is friends with Becker as well, to play the acoustic parts that Becker wrote.
Dobson’s musical influences include a range of artists across many genres. He was initially drawn to Judas Priest, Mötley Crue and Megadeth but his interests expanded when he heard violinist Niccolo Paganini.
He eventually became interested in bluegrass music through the work of Joe Maphis, Tony Rice and Leo Kottke. Like Kottke, Dobson draws from many genres and uses syncopated melodies.
Recently, Dobson’s influences have expanded yet again to include techno and trance. For that matter, he says his compositions are influenced by the video game music he heard on his Nintendo Entertainment System as a child. He calls his brand of music “acoustic metal,” which is also the name of his 2012 double-album, available through CandyRat Records.
To hear more of his work, check out his CandyRat YouTube channel.
Here he is playing his original composition, “Time 2.” See below for his North American tour dates, and check his website as well for more information.
North American Tour Schedule (remaining dates as of this post)
03/18 CA-BC-Golden, The Rock Water Grill
03/19 CA-BC-Kelowna, Minstrel Café
03/20 CA-BC-Enderby, Lorenzo's Café
03/22 US-WA-Seattle, The Triple Door
03/24 US-OR-Portland, Aladdin Theater
03/25 US-OR-Eugene, Wow Hall
03/27 US-CA-Sacramento, Harlow´s
03/31 US-CA-Oakland, Yoshi´s
04/03 US-CA-Ramona, Ramona Main Stage
04/04 US-CA-San Pedro, Alva´s Showroom
04/09 US-NM-Albuquerque, afternoon CLINIC (venue tba) NEW!!!
04/09 US-NM-Albuquerque, Tony Hillerman Library (12 noon) NEW!!!
04/10 US-NM-Albuquerque, The Cooperage (8 pm) NEW!!!
04/12 US-CO-Denver, Soiled Dove
04/15 US-OK-Tulsa, The Vanguard
04/17 US-TX-Houston, Dosey Doe
04/18 US-TX-Austin, Strange Brew
04/19 US-TX-Dallas, The Kessler Theater
04/25 US-FL-Largo, Largo Cultural Center
04/28 US-NC-Raleigh, The Pour House Music Hall (w/ Multiples)
04/30 US-VA-Vienna, Jammin´ Java
05/01 US-DE-Wilmington, World Café
05/02 US-MD-Laurel, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center
05/03 US-NJ-Asbury Park, The Saint
05/04 US-NY-New York City, Iridium (8:30pm and 10:30pm)
05/06 US-NY-New York City, Iridium (8:30pm and 10:30pm)
05/07 US-NY-Woodstock, Bearsville Theater
05/08 US-MA-Cambridge, The Regattabar
05/09 CA-QC-Montreal, Katacombes
05/22 CA-ON-Stouffville, Nineteen on the Park