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Dawson Rutledge is what anyone who cares deeply about music would be attracted to. He’s a hip, award winning, sophisticated young songwriter, a unique vocalist, serious about his craft. At nineteen, he’s already something of a vet, having crammed a full-blown apprenticeship into two heady years. “When I was in high school, I had this great teacher, Evan Bueckert, who had created a recording class,” says the young man from Cranbrook, British Columbia. “In this course we learned a lot about music and musical composition. By the end of the course, each student was required to write and record a set of original songs. At that point, I was hooked.”

This was a period of great growth for Dawson, who also got serious about his guitar playing, listening to and being inspired by songwriters the likes of The Head & The Heart, Mumford & Sons, and Shakey Graves. He got his heart broken and subsequently, in a span of six months, wrote somewhere between fifteen to twenty songs. After recording and releasing a demo of 8 original tunes, things shifted into high gear. Dawson test-released ‘Today, Tonight and Tomorrow to rave reviews, garnering chart positions at college radio across the country and a feature in Music Express Magazine.

Following a meeting with record executive Geordie Gillespie in May of 2016 , Dawson recorded his official full length debut, the haunting ‘Monsters’. Gillespie heard Dawson at Mesa Music Festival and Jersey Shore Festival and was knocked out, declaring Dawson as “one of the artists to watch,” at both gatherings. He, in fact, became so enamoured of the young man’s music, he decided the best way to get his music made was to introduce him to Grammy award winner Justin Guip, who had worked with Levon Helm for over a decade. In a few short, productive weeks, near Woodstock, Rutledge and Guip made magic together. In addition to Rutledge’s stunning picking, it also features the pedal steel work of Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Amy Helm) on “Yours, Truly” that suits the subdued haunting work of the songwriter.

There’s a rustic, organic acoustic feel to the album that has a warm ‘70s Woodstock vibe to it. But it’s Rutledge’s voice and lyrics that will pull you in. Take the opener, “Thief Of A Lover.” “You lost your tongue in the mouth of an icy stream,” sings the kid who has the flow of a great rapper and the elasticity of a cool jazz singer. The tune “When Life Gives You Monsters” has a subtle rhythmic groove, with Rutledge phrasing in a sort of Caribbean patois and spitting out smart lines like, “Our two track minds have been tugging on each other / It seems no good can come from staying desperate lovers.” “Heavy Heart” sports a hooky, chilly keyboard riff and dark lyrics about another love affair that is clearly not working out. One of the trademarks of this full-length LP is how conceptually strong the collection is. Lyrics, music, vocals and arrangements all seem wonderfully consistent throughout the record and each song adds to a powerful feeling of romantic despair. In this way, Monsters is not unlike Morrison’s masterpiece Astral Weeks. One song slides effortlessly into the next, foreshadowing what’s to come, reflecting what has come before. What might be most surprising about Monsters, is that both the songwriter and the finished record are so original. Usually, even the best efforts betray the influence of the songwriter’s heroes. Dylan sounded like Woody Guthrie, Springsteen like Van Morrison. You will be enchanted by Dawson’s first full-length LP, but you will have a fruitless time trying to spot his forbears.

 

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PRESS QUOTES

 

"Dawson Rutledge And His Beautiful Monsters"
"If you were a music exec, even in today’s segmented, confused and diffuse business, you’d still probably want to roll the dice and sign Dawson Rutledge. He’s young, hip, telegenic and, oh, by the way, a really good songwriter. He’s pretty much perfect, as far as packages go...he’s just released his solo debut, Monsters. Which one imagines is going to put this young Canadian on the world map."
AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE (Peter Gerstenzang) -- October 10, 2017
read here ↦

 

"Premiere: Dawson Rutledge Releases New Lyric Video for 'When Life Gives You Monsters'"
"'When Life Gives You Monsters' has a subtle rhythmic groove, with Rutledge phrasing in a sort of Caribbean patois and spitting out smart lines like, 'Our two track minds have been tugging on each other / It seems no good can come from staying desperate lovers.'”
VENTS MAGAZINE (RJ Frometa) -- September 15, 2017
check out link ↦

 

"Exclusive Music Premiere: 'Same Old News' - Radiant Music From Dawson Rutledge"
"...it's superb!...Stylistically, Rutledge combines soft rock, pop, jazz and folk elements into a unique laid-back sound. His sound projects the best qualities of the folk genre, along with the vivacity and expressiveness of today’s pop music. It’s a unique blend quite unlike anything else around... Dawson Rutledge has it going on! 'Same Old News' is a sonic confection of redoubtable dominance; the melody flows infectiously, the instrumentation is bright and gorgeously compact and Rutledge’s voice is pregnant with didactic reflection, a kind of brooding absorption that provides an exquisitely delightful imminence. I’ve already added 'Same Old News' to my personal playlist. And I can’t wait for Monsters to drop!"
HUFFPOST (Randy Radic) -- September 7, 2017
read here ↦

"Five Questions with Dawson Rutledge"
"THE HYPE MAGAZINE - Conversations (Interview with Just Jay) -- August 26, 2017
read here ↦

 

"Artist Spotlight: Canadian Alt. Folk Artist Dawson Rutledge"
"Establishing himself early as a talented young songwriter, musician and vocalist, Rutledge is one of those artists that we feel will break out in coming months"
INDIE ROCK CAFE (Max Hammer) -- August 19, 2017
read here ↦

 

"Review Fix Exclusive: Dawson Rutledge Talks Goals in Music and More"
"Taking Folk Music to a new level, Rutledge's penchant for both solid lyrics and musicianship make him someone to keep an eye on"
REVIEW FIX (Interview by Patrick Hickey Jr.) -- July 16, 2017
read here ↦

 

"Cranbrook Artist to Attend Wapiti"
FREE PRESS (Interview by Phil McLachlan) -- June 14, 2017
read here ↦

"Winners Announced for Kootenay Music Awards"
"...solo artist Dawson Rutledge took home two awards: Best Folk/Roots/Country Act and Best Breakthrough Artist..."
NELSON STAR (Will Johnson) -- March 13, 2017
read here ↦

 

"...an up and coming star...played the crowd with an ease that belies his age...draws you in...you feel the music, not just hear it."
CROC RADIO (Review by Buddy Gold) -- February 20, 2017
read full review here ↦

"Dawson Rutledge: A Rising Musician Keeping it Real"
GO CRANBROOK MAGAZINE (Interview by Monica Huibers, pages 26-29) -- January 31, 2017
read here ↦

 

"...a hot new award-winning singer-songwriter...You are going to be hearing much more from this artist in the future." ColumbiaValley.com -- October 26, 2016
check out link ↦

"...album was half-composed at high school...music feels years beyond..."
The Lunchbox Interview: Dawson Rutledge with host Mark Kilfoil
CHSR-FM 97.9 in Fredericton, NB -- October 3, 2016
full podcast ↦  
 

"...one of the most talked about musicians to come from this city."
KOOTENAY NEWS ADVERTISER -- August 30, 2016
read the full article

 

"...just 18 years old but certainly can play!" -- SASKATCHEWAN WEEKEND (CBC Radio One) -- August 6, 2016
view ↦


"...oozing confidence on stage, he is a natural born entertainer."
EAST KOOTENAY NEWS ON-LINE WEEKLY - e-know.ca (Ian Cobb) -- May 5, 2016
read the full article↦
 

"Cranbrook Performer a Searchlight Favourite"
"Dawson Rutledge, holding down the popular vote, leads a cast of 10 acts from Interior and Northern B.C. heading into round two."
EAST KOOTENAY NEWS ON-LINE WEEKLY (e-know.ca) -- April 25, 2016
read the full article

"Dawson Rutledge in Searchlight Spotlight"
"Rutledge is certainly a dynamic and riveting performer to watch."
THE TOWNSMAN -- April 14, 2016
read the full article
 

"With a wealth of talent already at his fingertips...a sensational voice and a way of viewing the world unique
and well-seasoned beyond his young 18 years...it's already something magical."
-- PIPESTONE FLYER - BLACK PRESS (Amelia Naismith) -- March 23, 2016
read the full article↦
 

"I was frankly shocked that music this subtle and lived in came from somebody so young..... Today, Tonight, Tomorrow
also has a Lo-Fi, homemade feel to it that just makes it that much more enjoyable to listen to."
-- GONZO ONLINE (John The Rock Doctor Kereiff) - March 7, 2016
read the full article↦
 

"'Mysterious Woman' is the second track, and it’s the track that had me entranced. I couldn’t help sing along, and the beat captivated me from the beginning......Dawson seems to know just the right amount of each genre to mix into his music to create an irresistible sound that could easily appeal to many listeners. From the beginning to the very end, I was thoroughly entertained. This offering is one that will have no problem garnering interest in Dawson, and I am stoked to hear much more from this young Canadian artist."
-- CANADIAN BEATS (Review by Jenna Melanson) - February 25, 2016
read the full article ↦

 

-- Featured in New Faces Segment of Music Express Magazine --
"'Mysterious Woman' received positive enough reviews to suggest Rutledge is definitely a talent in the making."
-- MUSIC EXPRESS (Keith Sharp) - February 23, 2016
read the full article ↦



"Atlantic Seabreeze gives this album very good ratings and foresees a very bright future with his music career"
-- ATLANTIC SEABREEZE (John Gavin) - February 10, 2016
read the full article ↦

Charts

 

October 18, 2016
CHSR 97.9 FM in Fredericton - "Today, Tonight, Tomorrow" album re-entry at #28 on Top 30 chart
-- earshot! (EARSHOT-ONLINE.COM)
check out the chart here ↦ 
 

June 26, 2016
CiBL 101.5 FM in Montreal -- "Today, Tonight, Tomorrow" album holding at #5 again this week
remaining on the Country/Folk chart for a 5th consecutive week
 

June 19, 2016
CIBL 101.5 FM in Montreal - "Today, Tonight, Tomorrow" album charted at #5 on Country/Folk Chart
 

June 12, 2016
CIBL 101.5 FM in Montreal - "Today, Tonight, Tomorrow" album rose to #6 on Country/Folk Chart
 

June 5, 2016
CIBL 101.5 FM in Montreal - "Today, Tonight, Tomorrow" album went to #8 on Country/Folk Chart
 

May 29, 2016
CIBL 101.5 FM in Montreal - "Today, Tonight, Tomorrow" album charting at #10 on Country/Folk Chart
 

April 26, 2016
Album charted at CFBX 92.5 FM - The X - Kamloops - #8 on the Folk/Roots/Blues chart
-- !earshot (EARSHOT-ONLINE.COM)
check out the chart here ↦

April 12, 2016
Album charted at CFBX 92.5 FM - The X - Kamloops, at #8 on the Folk/Roots/Blues chart
-- !earshot (EARSHOT-ONLINE.COM)
check out the chart here ↦

March 1, 2016
Album charted at CHSR 97.9 in Fredericton, deputing at #20 on Top 30 albums
-- !earshot (EARSHOT-ONLINE.COM)
check out the chart here ↦