Steve Louw

Steve Louw, June 2021
Steve Louw, June 2021 | credit: Jacqui van Staden

Headlight Dreams

Released on the 7th May 2021 via BFD/The Orchard.
Catalogue number: BFD275. Produced by Kevin Shirley.

Steve Louw - Headlight Dreams, 7th May 2021
Steve Louw – Headlight Dreams, 7th May 2021

Headlight Dreams is the first international solo release by South African singer-songwriter Steve Louw. Helmed by internationally renowned producer Kevin Shirley (John Hiatt, Joe Bonamassa, The Black Crowes) and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with top local musicians, the album sees Steve exploring new ground as a songwriter as he addresses issues near to his heart. Headlight Dreams sees Steve return to the studio after a seven-year break with a new set of songs and fresh musical inspiration.

Says Steve, “I’d taken an 8000-km motorcycle journey around Southern Africa and a lot of that space and time seeped into these songs. After weeks of riding I started to see things in slow motion and hyperspeed at once and I became mesmerised by the landscape. “I built the songs around my voice and the acoustic guitar so that the listener would be drawn into a journey through broken open landscapes, seeing images in the peripheral half- light while mesmerised by beams of light . . . time passing, slowing, stopping, speeding, with shadows playing just outside of the picture frame.”

Rough Trade


  1. Crazy River (3:36)
  2. Wind In Your Hair (4:09)
  3. Don’t Wait (4:01)
  4. Train Don’t Run (7:33)
  5. Seven Roses (4:45)
  6. Get Out Of My Heart (4:08)
  7. The Lost And Found (2:56)
  8. Headlight Dreams (5:13)
  9. Heavy Weather (3:07)
  10. Queen Bee Maybe (4:34)

All songs composed by Steve Louw.


  • Steve Louw: vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Rob McNelley: electric guitars
  • Kevin McKendree: piano, Hammond organ
  • Alison Prestwood: bass guitar
  • Greg Morrow: drums and percussion
  • Joe Bonamassa: lead guitar on “Wind In Your Hair”


The song deals with how love changes and builds between two people as life throws up detours and bridges. It’s a love story exploring how two people who love each other but have different needs and desires travel through their life and love. The chorus always kicks back to the joy of love, but the verses take you through a journey of rough and smooth roads and winding passes – and ends at the place they set out for.

I love the way the acoustic guitar opens the song and then the band kicks in with that great tom fill. US guitar legend Joe Bonamassa was in the studio and played a killer solo as he heard the track for the first time.

Steve Louw

We wanted to do a road trip movie which takes you into a world of freedom, beauty and wide open spaces.

We also wanted the images to relate back to the chorus lyric

“ When I look down the road
   I see you standing there
   With the sunlight on your face
    And the wind in your hair”

and to capture the feeling of love and longing on the road ahead, the sense of wonder not knowing where the road leads, or what is waiting up around the bend.

Steve Louw

I once took a long canoe trip down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon and out again. It was a very spacy spiritual place and it felt like I was on a journey to the middle of the earth. I wrote this after the trip. On one level the song is about the river trip and the journey deep inside the raw power and beating heart of nature, but it also reflects on time, our time on Earth, how we experience it, and how the bonds of deep personal relationships with our fellow travellers nurture our souls. I played the acoustic guitar using a few African-style riffs and the band picked up on that feel. Guitarist Rob McNelley contributed beautiful slide guitar.

Steve Louw


Liner Notes



Steve Louw - Headlight Dreams
Steve Louw – Headlight Dreams


Produced by Kevin Shirley
Recorded at Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, TN
Engineer: Austin Atwood
Mixed by Kevin Shirley at Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, TN and The Cave Australia, Sydney
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME

All songs written by Steve Louw
©2020 ascap/slosongs/SonyATV

Cover photo: Wes Hicks
Liner notes: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Design by Kate Moss, Moonshine Design

Thanks to Kev who has had my back for so many years,
Guy Henderson, and everyone at SonyATV Australia.

With love to Blom, Katie, Nini and Lili


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