Steven Dillon
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Steven Dillon

Band Folk New Age


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"Radio Flyer Review"

"... Steven Dillon is a brilliant finger-style guitarist who plays in the style of Don Ross, Thomas Leeb, Preston Reed among many others. His last album “First of All” did impress as well the press as his fans. On “Radio Flyer ” one notices the progress he made in many aspects as techniques and composing. The first track “Goochland Shuffle” is brilliant with a dynamic groove on a repeating melody line which absorbs one from the beginning to the end. Many pennings of Steven show a lot of techniques like tapping and slapping, as on “Autumnal Winds”, Another Day of Infamy”, Tumbleweed”, Silver Lining” and “Influenced”. Most pieces are very fast with at times some killer chops and some titles with an average tempo like “A Walk in the Park” and the title track “Radio Flyer' which has rich overtones. Another superb work is “Voyager” which has an intimate setup and has a moving melancholic feeling and first-class guitar techniques. Steven Dillon released with “Radio Flyer” a top-notch album which will impress any guitar enthusiast." - Bridge Guitar Reviews

"Radio Flyer Review"

"... This is that guy who plays the steel-string acoustic guitar like a fifteen-fingered freak from beyond our solar system. That's who Steven Dillon is. He may have a day job, but he is barking up the wrong tree with whatever it is he does. This guy, if he doesn't get carpal tunnel (he's already had it once and even completely gave up his axe for several years), should be playing the big festivals and recording for Windham Hill. If he and Will Ackerman ever get together, I guarantee you right now that I will shoot myself in the face, and gleefully too, because after that, nothing else will ever be good again. How could reality ever compete? No, this isn't just some crazy blissed-out New Age crapfest, nor is it some technically perfect but utterly soulless fleet-fingered wanker music. This is freaking incredible stuff that should be listened to right alongside of masters like Michael Hedges. If you like the weird acoustic jams of Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull, you'll love this crazy, beautful stuff... this guy is truly a monster from hell. " - TheChickenFishSpeaks

"Radio Flyer Review"

"The second CD from Virginia-based instrumental guitarist Steven Dillon shows further explorations of his talents. Tilting towards the style of a more bare-bones Leo Kottke, Steven weaves intricate fingerstyle plucking into ear friendly rhythms. From the World flavored “Mauna Loa” to the folkish “A Walk In the Park” and the uplifting joy of the title track, Steven proves again that he can funnel his emotions through his fingers in subtly stunning fashion." - Music Morsels

"First Of All Review"

"Move over Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges. Make room for Steven Dillon. An eclectic fingerstyle acoustic guitar wizard based in Virginia, Steven will blow you away with his precise technique and blazing speed. On his 11-track debut CD, he utilizes a good mix of up-tempo and more soothing cuts to share his dazzling licks in styles combining New Age, folk, rock and bluegrass. The aforementioned Hedges was one of his influences and it shapes the sounds of some of his tunes. Steven is an original, however. His unique instrumentation features a rich and full sound as he accelerates from zero to 70 in less than a second. His heart-stopping fretboard acrobatics, melodic trickery and rhythmic quick changes are best featured on "Flyin' Low" and "Solar Eclipse;" while another excellent tune is the neo-bluegrass "Playing on Dad's New Grass." As noted -- influenced? Yes. Unique and original? Absolutely. Oh, and don't forget fast -- really, really fast!" - Indie-Music

"First Of All Review"

"If you don't think Guitar is a genre, you need to listen to Dillon. His finger lickin' pickin' style is like spending 40 minutes in a spin dryer made of wood and metal strings....this man can put more into his music than some 20 piece bands I've heard. It's not new age or folk. You might consider it pop, since it sits in your mind a while. It is ambient of a sort in that some of the bluer tunes like 'Rusty's Spirit' are just as good as coffee to sober you up. But we're not talking the sound of the ocean kind of hold your finger on the synthesizer amber stuff. Mellow. Like a good shot of bourbon.

Naturally the wiles that impress most are the wild roamings, as in the opening 'Whistle While You Walk', which seem to spill out like trying to run with a glass of buttermilk. Free range, freestyle guitar....for me, the best Dillon gives are the rainy night songs like 'Time Gone By'... Music for sitting back and running thru the years of your life rather than trying to catch up with traffic. And it ain't slow. Just moves at the pace of life.... More fingers like these please, God." - Music Dish

"First Of All Review"

"Steven Dillon's CD, First of All, does not suffer from the fingerstyle guitarists worst (and least recognized) enemy, monotony --this may come from his roots in heavy metal rock. Lots of great fingerstyle guitar players find a mid-tempo groove and spend the entire CD wallowing in it. They seem to believe that dynamic shifts would be too much for an audience to bear, and avoid them completely. Steven Dillon is not one of these guitarists. The music on First Of All swoops, runs, walks, whispers, yells, skips, and tickles itself out of your stereo speakers. It gives you a reason to put it on, sit down, and listen. Repeatedly.

'Whistle While You Walk' starts off the CD with an up tempo groove and some flashy runs. The tune is catchy and shows off both Dillon's dexterity and musicality. 'Jed's Place' follows the same general idea, but Dillon doesn't cross us up with the out of time signature antics in which he indulges on the previous track.

By the third track, 'Time Gone By,' First of All found it's groove. Once again, Dillon discovered a nice melody lying somewhere in the open and altered tunings that he employs, but this time it was slower (mid tempo) and more confident.

'Summer Rain,' 'Flying Low,' 'Rusty's Spirit,' and 'Best of Both Worlds' stayed in the pocket that Dillon had developed. All are excellent tunes. Dillon has a gift for setting a tune and tempo and then throwing in furious runs and harmonic passages that highlight the melody by providing sharp contrast to it. He allows the tunes to shine by stating the theme and then showing you in quick flashes what he could have played had he not been more interested in the music itself.

And then '12 Roses' came on. This is truly a highlight of the CD for me. Here Dillon seems to put it all together. None of the dynamic or key shifts jump out, the entire piece flows effortlessly form one passage to another, seemlessly fitting bass register rhythmic runs with harmonic flights.

'Playing on Dad's New Grass' shook me out of my reverie with a furious banjo roll of a guitar lick, and sent me off happy to have been reminded of being a frenetic five year old again. In sharp contrast, 'If Only' wrapped itself around the room like a warm blanket, allowing me to reflect upon my '12 Roses' reverie.

'Solar Eclipse' completed the package with what sounds like a sonic ode to Mason Williams. It is indeed reminiscent of 'Classical Gas,' but Dillon takes the idea farther and is willing to experiment more. It is a fitting tribute, intended or not.

Because of Steven Dillon's sense of melody and dynamics, First Of All is an excellent CD that compares well to some of the best fingerstyle guitar CDs available. I look forward to more great stuff this Rock 'n Roll refugee." - FAME

"First Of All Review"

"Steven Dillon is an acoustic guitar virtuoso who is about to set the world on fire with his debut CD First of All. Entirely acoustic, entirely instrumental and entirely exciting, First of All is an amazing forty-seven minutes of original, eclectic and flashy guitar work.

...Dillon combines his rustic style with various influences from the rock, country and classical world. With hints of the great Michael Hedges, Dillon spins a new style all his own. (I could even pick up a trace of Leslie West and Jimmy Page in songs like Flyin’ Low, 12 Roses and Rusty’s Spirit.) Dynamic, robust, original, emotional, clean and precise, Steven Dillon is a name to watch among up and coming solo artists.

From the carefree Whistle While You Walk to the intense finale, Solar Eclipse fans of the acoustic guitar will enjoy this wondrous work. Fellow guitarists will soon be emulating his technique and covering his very well written tunes. Best of Both Worlds showcases an interesting contrast of a rock and roll rhythm intertwined with soothing and artful finger picking. Play this CD loud; play it alone; listen with headphones and a Grand Marnier and enjoy!" - Musicians Realm

"First Of All Review"

"First Of All is the work of a fingerstyle dynamo. Acoustic, raw and thoughtful, this is guitar music you'll keep in rotation for a while to be certain you've heard all there is to hear.

There's a lot to listen to. About half of the tracks feature busy fingers and catchy melodies, while the balance of the tracks are more contemplative. Every track features Steven's technical prowess on the frets and strings. Steven's music reminds me of Michael Hedges often - some of the chords, some of the progressions...but this isn't a Hedges tribute album. Nor would it be fair to call this an album 'New Age'. Steven typically arranges his pieces in a format closer to pop, with the introduction of a melody, the repetition of that melody, a bridge, and a close reminiscient of the introduction. Only rarely do Steven's tracks wander and mutate in what I consider to be the hallmark new age style. Although I thought ocassionally of Will Ackerman, Ackerman's material tends to have a wandering feel that Steven's music never does. All of Steven's tracks have purpose and direction - a feeling to communicate and a defined way to get you there.

...This CD is a welcome addition to my collection, and I look forward to more of Steven's music." - Indepedent Music Site

"First Of All Review"

"...Dillon's unique fashion of acoustic fingerstyle guitar stands up nicely next to the likes of Leo Kottke and Norman Blake, blending their progressive folk and bluegrass-tinged sounds into his own. Upon listening to Dillon's fingers ripping across the guitar frets, one can only be amazed that the sounds produced come from a single person. Even though First Of All is just the product of one man's guitar, don't automatically assume that this is sleepytime fire-side music; "Summertime Rain" is a stark and beautiful work that can send chills down the listener's spine, which leads into the blazing "Flying Low," a blur of fingers and fretwork. Dillon has a knack for writing instrumental songs that are melodic and cover enough territory to keep the listener entertained, but at the same time are cohesive enough not to leave the listeners wondering where the song is." - LeftOffTheDial


Radio Flyer
First Of All
Messin' Around
Acoustic Rainbow (February '07)
Wood And Wire Sampler Volume I



Steven Dillon's solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar sound is uniquely his own. Written with passion and emotion, his songs are stylishly filled with guitar wizardry. This self-taught musician combines Folk, New Age, Blues, Rock, Bluegrass, and Heavy Metal into an original, eclectic blend of instrumental

Steven cut his musical teeth on Bluegrass and by the age of 14 was exercising his musical skills on
a 12-string guitar: writing and recording his own songs. However, after attending a Van Halen
concert, his attention quickly turned to the electric guitar. Steven honed his licks and techniques
studying the works of Eddie Van Halen, George Lynch, Warren DeMartini, Joe Satriani, Vinnie
Moore, and many others.

Following a 10-year hiatus from the guitar, during which time he completed a college degree and became a software engineer, Steven was the victim of a near-fatal car accident. This life-altering event made Steven feel as if he had been given a new lease on life and inspired him to return to his first love--writing music and playing the acoustic guitar.

His fingerstyle guitar influences include Preston Reed, Don Ross, Billy McLaughlin, Peter Finger, Stephen Bennett, and similar Narada and Windham Hill guitarists. "I believe that my style and sound have been shaped by my past as well as musicians who were inspired by Michael Hedges. I'm sort of a second generation Hedges'-influenced player," smiles Steven.

Steven's sophomore release, Radio Flyer, once again showcases his broad background and highlights his progressive acoustic style. From the groove-based Goochland Shuffle and Tumbleweed to the contemplative Voyager, as well as the soothing tune A Walk In The Park, there is something for all acoustic guitar enthusiasts. "