Biography

Ewan Dobson has established himself as one of Canada’s accomplished guitarists, having won first prize in many guitar competitions across the country. His impressive list of credentials include winning the Grand Prizes from both the Burlington Rotary Fall Music Festival and the Pickering Rotary Music Festival where he emerged victorious, after having competed against the top prize winners of all of the other disciplines. In addition to dominating the provincial competition circuit, Dobson has made his mark nationally having represented Ontario twice at the National Finals of the prestigious Canadian Music Competitions (CMC) and having been awarded the top prize in guitar. In the summer of 2009, Dobson was crowned the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Champion at the prestigious 5th annual Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition held in Kingston, Ontario. Shortly after this victory, he captured another first prize in the acoustic category at the 4th Montreal Guitar Grand Prix. However, the highlight of this season took place when he caught the attention of the world by capturing 3rd place at the 38th International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship held in Winfield, Kansas.

In addition to his hectic competition history, Dobson has performed at many prestigious venues across Ontario including Hammerson Hall in Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre, the George Weston Recital Hall in the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts and his recital debut in the Royal Bank Theatre of the Living Arts Centre under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga to name but a few. A versatile artist, he has been featured on many television programs on Rogers and CityTV and was in the top 10 on CKXU 88.3 FM Lethbridge, AB. Corporate functions that he has performed at include the National Tourette’s Syndrome Conference and a Magnotta Winery fundraiser in support of Lymes Disease.

Past engagements included a concert in the inaugural season of the Lebovic Centre for the Performing Arts where he was featured performing his own compositions. In October of 2009 Ewan recorded his highly anticipated debut album with the acclaimed American label “Candyrat Records.” The prize for winning the 2009 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition in Kingston, Ontario was a recording contract with Candyrat Records along with a Stonebridge acoustic guitar. The success of the first album led the record company to ask him to record another disc for them.

Time 2 from his second album became his most successful song. It became a viral video hit on the internet acquiring millions of views. The video has been specially featured on numerous media websites across the internet (reddit.com, ebaumsworld.com and collegehumor.com to name but a few). The song reached #1 on the iTunes charts in Finland, Germany and Sweden. It also reached #2 in Austria, #3 in Japan and the Netherlands, #4 in New Zealand and #5 in Denmark.

The development of Ewan Dobson into the artist that he is today has been an eclectic journey to say the least. After humble beginnings with his first electric guitar playing heavy metal and hard rock music to the structured discipline of his classical training, Dobson has expanded his repertoire to include Bluegrass, Metal, Canadian folk, Techno, Trance, Video Game and Contemporary Fingerstyle music. The culmination of all of these diverse influences has fueled his creativity to compose his own unique brand of music and resulted in creating the captivating artist that he is today. Endorsed by Guptill Music in California, Dobson uses their ProPik Fingertone split-wrap finger picks. Ewan Dobson is a young artist of exceptional technical virtuosity and refined artistry that will enthrall audiences wherever he performs.

Ewan has performed at the 2010 Montreal Jazz Festival alongside Gareth Pearson, Craig D’Andrea and Don Ross. He also demonstrated guitars at the 2010 Montreal Guitar Show. In September and October 2010 Ewan hit the road with fellow guitar virtuoso Antoine Dufour for his first Canadian tour that featured performance dates with the legendary Don Ross. This eastern tour brought Ewan to several cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, New Glasgow, and more. In April and May of 2011 Ewan toured the USA with fellow label-mates Craig D’Andrea, Gareth Pearson, Stefano Barone and Pete Ciluzzi. The tour consisted of over 30 shows from the Eastern to Western United States.

After racking up 10 million YouTube views in 2011, Ewan Dobson released his third CD in January 2012 to satisfy what has become a growing army of crazed fans around the world. It was an album of sixteen new tracks that were all undeniably Ewan Dobson. In the early spring of 2012 Ewan Dobson embarked on a second tour of the USA with labelmates Ryan Spendlove, Gareth Pearson, Craig D’Andrea and Matthew Santos. Immediately following this was his debut tour of England with Jimmy Wahlsteen, Antoine Dufour and Adam Palma. The audiences in the UK were enthralled by his performances and demand a return. Some audience members traveled from as far as the Netherlands, Germany and Norway to see Ewan’s performances. As of September 2012, Dobson has had 10 songs appear on the iTunes charts amounting to over 1000 total chart appearances.

In late 2012 Dobson collaborated over the internet with a drummer in Slovenia by the name of Zack Bevelacqua. Having noticed Zack’s superb drumming abilities on his drum cover of “Time 2” on YouTube Ewan commissioned Zack to write drum tracks for his latest material. The result was a double album entitled “Acoustic Metal.” CD 1 contains fifteen songs of pure heavy acoustic guitar and drums including a rocking version of the Halloween movie theme and two covers of songs by the Swedish melodic metal band In Flames. This album is a home studio recording and by far the heaviest yet in Ewan’s discography. It features multi-tracked acoustic flat-pick guitar as well as some excellent fingerstyle work. CD 2 has all of the material from CD 1 minus the drum tracks so the listener can enjoy the guitar work on its own if they wish. CD 2 also contains seven extra instrumental songs including a fingerstyle cover of Jason Becker’s “Higher,” a Star Wars medley, a heavy acoustic version of “What Is Love” by Haddaway, Megaman 2’s Dr Wily Stage for fingerstyle guitar and a song based on the theme from Nightmare on Elm Street. Ewan Dobson’s “Acoustic Metal” double album is available through Candyrat Records.

Immediately after recording the “Acoustic Metal” album Ewan produced an album of traditional music featuring pieces from Finland, Latvia, Norway, Bulgaria, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Serbia, Germany, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Macedonia and the USA. This album of traditional music entitled “World Candies” also features a piece by Niccolo Paganini and three original compositions by Ewan. “World Candies” is an independent digital-only release. In the summer of 2013, Ewan did a tour of 6 Guitar Centers in the USA to give guitar clinics and performances demonstrating his unique guitar style. It was an opportunity for fans to ask questions and learn about Dobson’s techniques and music.

Then, in the fall of 2013 he made an appearance in China after being invited to showcase his abilities for “Fingerstyle China.” There were performances in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi which were all very well received by the audiences. From Shanghai, Ewan left for Tokyo, Japan to give four performances which concluded his journey to the East. While in Tokyo, Ewan recorded the acoustic guitar parts written by Jason Becker and Marty Friedman for the song “Horrors” that appears on Marty Friedman’s latest album “Inferno.” Marty Friedman, the world renowned and legendary electric guitarist selected Dobson to play the acoustic parts that both He and Jason had written for their first collaboration since playing together in the band “Cacophony.”

"Ewan played the parts we had written on ‘Horrors’ so beautifully and with so much expertise and flair that Jason and I were in awe of his performance" – Marty Friedman

In early 2014, Ewan embarked on his first major tour of Europe. The “European Acoustic Metal Tour” consisted of 38 shows in 43 days covering Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. The tour was a great success and the fans across Europe were delighted by his performances. Immediately following this tour, Ewan recorded two albums back to back; “Acoustic Metal II” and “12-String Guitar.” Acoustic Metal II ups the game from the previous Acoustic Metal I, bringing with it heavier riffs and more evolved song writing. 14 new tracks guaranteed to captivate those who appreciate the heavy acoustic guitar and dual guitar harmonies. Acoustic Metal II is played entirely with a flat-pick and does not contain any fingerstyle guitar unlike Acoustic Metal I. It ranges from technical acoustic death metal to progressive acoustic metal and what could be described as “videogame acoustic metal.”

The album “12-String Guitar” contains four new fingerstyle songs as well as re-recordings of some of his previous songs on the 12 string guitar including a duet (multi-tracked) version of the hit song “Time 2.” The extra strings give a new flavour to his already existing works that are normally played on a standard 6 string guitar. This album was dedicated to Leo Kottke, the American fingerstyle guitarist who pioneered the aggressive 12 string guitar style and influenced numerous fingerstyle guitar players around the globe.

After the first tour of Europe and releasing two albums back to back, Ewan had a few notable moments to finish off 2014. These included, opening a show for legendary guitarist Albert Lee, returning to China and Japan for a second tour, and sharing the stage as a support act for the metal band “Battlecross.” Dobson was also invited as a musical guest of honour to perform at the Gamescom gaming convention in Cologne, Germany. This was the first time an instrumental guitarist had been selected by the convention to perform in its history. Ewan performed at the red carpet event among others during the convention, where the top names in video game development made their grand entrance.

In 2015, Dobson embarked on the “North American Acoustic Metal Tour” giving over 40 performances across Canada and the USA spanning from February 20th to June 5th. After the monstrously intense three month tour, a short break was in order before Ewan's debut performance at the Vancouver Island Music Fest 2015 in July.

Ewan relocated to St. John's, Newfoundland in mid-2015 and shortly after went on a 2 month tour of Europe and China called the “MAXMIMUM Guitar Tour.” There were a total of 48 performances in 13 countries. After returning from the MAXIMUM Guitar tour of Europe, Ewan completed recording the already half finished album “Insomnimania.” His 12th release features a variety of all the styles Ewan is known for as well as featuring a friend of his, Daniel Jerome Voth, on two tracks adding synth. The album has 19 songs including a demo version of a song already on the album recorded a year earlier. One song in particular shows expansion of style as Ewan integrates some Bhangra music into his acoustic metal style.

After Insomnimania was released Ewan ventured on to record two more albums in 2016 while taking some time in between recording sessions to do a few performances in Newfoundland. The first of the two albums recorded immediately after "Insomnimania" is called "The Pit of Despair and the Joy of the Trampoline" and features styles such as gypsy jazz, instrumental folk, heavy instrumental celtic, 12 string folk guitar and acoustic metal. The second album is a classical album that features works by Niccolo Paganini arranged for guitar along with compositions by Luigi Legnani and Domenico Scarlatti. There are also 3 folk guitar caprices written by Ewan that demonstrate flat picking technique within a musical context. These two albums were released back to back in October 2016.

Discography

Guitar (Independent) 2007

The Red Army Love Potion (Independent) 2008

Healthy Obsession (Independent) 2009

Ewan Dobson I (Candyrat Records) 2009

Ewan Dobson II (Candyrat Records) 2010

Ewan Dobson III (Candyrat Records) 2012

World Candies (Independent) 2012

Acoustic Metal (Candyrat Records) 2013

Acoustic Metal II (Independent) 2014

12 String Guitar (Independent) 2014

Acoustic Metal II – Drums Version (Independent) 2015

Insomnimania (Independent) 2016

The Pit of Despair and the Joy of the Trampoline (Independent) 2016

Signor Paganini & Friends (Independent) 2016

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