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#MusicExchange: Steve Louw releases new album Headlight Dreams

It's hard to believe the last music we heard from Steve Louw arrived seven long years ago. With the wait now finally over, fans right around the world are already embracing the pop-rock icon's return with arms wide open.
The past year has been a rich and hugely rewarding one for Louw. Not only did Louw record his brand-new album, Headlight Dreams, in Nashville along with his long-time friend and producer extraordinaire Kevin Shirley (John Hiatt, Joe Satriani, Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes), but Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and genius guitarist Joe Bonamassa also pitched up and added his magic to the record. 


To boot, Sony ATV, upon hearing the finished album, offered Louw his first international solo artist record deal.

The album, which is out now, already has two singles on high rotation, “Crazy River” and “Wind in your Hair”; the latter is the one that’s quite literally blowing up all around the world. In its first week of release in the US, the track landed at the highly coveted number two position on the Billboard ACC Folk Chart, ahead of the likes of the equally commendable Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi.

“Wind in your Hair” is the track that sports Joe Bonamassa guitar fills and outstanding middle-eight. The single has had over 100,000 plays on Spotify in under three weeks. 



With 10 tracks captured in an arresting three-day recording sprint, producer Kevin Shirley channelled each one of Headlight Dreams’ songs through a vintage Neve console inside of a converted church. 

“From the first moment, I loved the acoustics of the studio and the vibe created by the wonderful Nashville musicians with their great feel and playing, drawing you into a world shimmering in the half-light, just out of reach,” Louw shares.

A consummate storyteller, a supremely gifted guitarist and a genuinely wonderful human being, Louw’s Headlight Dreams is a beautiful statement.

I caught up with the Cape Town resident last week. 

BizcommunityThe new decade means: 

Radical carbon emission cuts.

BizcommunityFame is about: 

An illusion.


BizcommunityRetirement will happen when: 

You have lived beyond three figures

BizcommunityI don't do:

Fake people. 

BizcommunityMy music is about: 

Everyday experiences.  

BizcommunityWhat is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

Playing live and singing. 

BizcommunityThe song you must do in every show: 

“Waiting for the Dawn” 



BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage: 

When the power tripped, half the show was acoustic; we just kept playing. Luckily, the power came back and then we had an electric show.

BizcommunityMy style icon: 

Bob Dylan. 

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?

My 1964 Epiphone as played by John (Lennon), Paul (McCartney) and George (Harrison). 

BizcommunityIt’s your round, what are you drinking?

Glenmorangie Single Malt. 

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?

The stage lights. 

BizcommunityNicknames:

Stevo. 

BizcommunityIf you were not a musician, what would you do?

Conservation. 

BizcommunityWho would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?

Edward Norton; we both smirk. 


BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself: 

Musical, songwriter, guitar player, dendrophile, singer.

BizcommunityFive favourite SA albums: 

GBB - Eet Kreef 
Baxtop - Work It Out
Juluka - Scatterlings
Tananas - Tananas
Tribe After Tribe - Power

BizcommunityWhat is your favourite word?

Truth.  

BizcommunityFavourite fashion garment: 

My leather flying jacket. 

BizcommunityGive us some real proper slang and what it means: 

Lank kiff: Awesome, great. 

BizcommunityYour greatest achievement: 

My family. 

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?

Dishonesty. 



BizcommunityWhat is your fear?

Large puff adders. 

BizcommunityHappiness is: 

Riding motorcycles. 

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?

Where I am.  

BizcommunityDo you do charity work and, if you do, what do you do?

Yes, conservation. 

Twitter : @stevelouwmusic

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
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