steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Kyle Dawkins

"Conasauga" CD


Genres: instrumental folk

195 Three Oaks Dr.
Athens GA 30607

Jul 21 - 27 2003

Conasauga is the brainchild of musician Kyle Dawkins, who plays guitar and banjo through these eight tracks, only occasionally enlisting the help of his friends for back-up instrumentation. The album is an exploration of the Appalachian musical style, and it is a beautiful record for both experts and casual listeners alike. Despite its focused subject matter, this is by no means a niche thing; anybody who can appreciate instrumental guitar and banjo, as foreground or background music, will find a place in their hearts [or homes] for Conasauga.

Dawkins' playing calibre is enough to warrant a purchase in the case of Conasauga. His fingers really work magic on these eight complex, beautiful tunes. There's nary a missed beat or a mistaken pluck on this entire record. The subtly melodic style of Dawkins' music makes this infinitely listenable, he never allows things to get old or repetitive. His playing is like that of Chet Atkins, except more in touch with the wilderness.

This is a terrific album; seldom does instrumental music capture the listener's attention like Kyle Dawkins' does. If you're looking for the type of deep, beautiful music that suits bedside listening just as much as it does party background ambiance, you'd be a fool not to give Conasauga a try.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]