Dixie Dregs
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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The Dixie Dregs were formed in Florida by a group of Georgia musicians (then students) and their fellow schoolmates: guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Andy West, drummer Rod Morgenstein, violinist Allen Sloan and keyboardist Steve Davidowski. They debuted with the all-instrumental album Free Fall (Capricorn, 1977), playing a mixture of jazz-rock and southern-boogie that bridged the Allman Brothers Band and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the Doobie Brothers and Weather Report.

What If (Capricorn, 1978) remains their masterpiece. The musicians have bloomed into a tightly-knit unit and Morse's material is top-rate. Night Meets Light and Take It Off The Top run the gamut from atmospheric improvisation to driving rock. Keyboardist T Lavitz entered the band for the live/studio album Night Of The Living Dregs (Capricorn, 1979).

The albums recorded as the Dregs, i.e. Dregs Of The Earth (Arista, 1980), Unsung Heroes (Arista, 1981), with Day 444, and especially Industry Standard (Arista, 1982), with fiddler Mark O'Connor and (for the first time) a couple of vocal tracks, still displayed their trademark approach to fusion and frequently included elements of bluegrass and heavy metal, although they were self-indulgent compared with the first two.

After the break-up, Steve Morse's solo work was vastly inferior. The Introduction (Elektra, 1984), Stand Up (MCA, 1985), High Tension Wires (MCA, 1989), Southern Street (MCA, 1991), Coast To Coast (MCA, 1992), Structural Damage (Windham Hill, 1995), Stress Fest (Windham Hill, 1996) were atmospheric/new age works that always displayed his talent but rarely relied on good compositions.

Andy West went on to play new age music with Zazen.

The original Dixie Dregs reunited (with Sloan replaced by Jerry Goodman) for Bring 'Em Back Alive (Capricorn, 1992), Full Circle (Capricorn, 1994) and California Screaming (Zebra, 2000).

In 1996, Morse joined Deep Purple.

Morse's solo Major Impacts (Magna Carta, 2000) pays tribute to his idols with a repertory of songs that imitate each a different style.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Gianluca Mantovan)

I Dixie Dregs si formarono in Florida per iniziativa di un gruppo di musicisti della Georgia (all'epoca studenti) e dei loro compagni di scuola: il chitarrista Steve Morse, il bassista Andy West, il batterista Rod Morgenstein, il violinista Allen Sloan e il tastierista Steve Davidowski. Free Fall (Capricorn, 1977), album d'esordio interamente strumentale, e' un misto di jazz-rock e boogie sudista che getta un ponte fra Allman Brothers, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Doobie Brothers e Weather Report.

What If (Capricorn, 1978) rimane il loro capolavoro. I musicisti sono divenuti un gruppo unito e il materiale di Morse e' di alta qualita'. Night meets light e Take it off the top percorrono la scala diatonica moderna dall'improvvisazione atmosferica al rock sfrenato. Il tastierista T Lavitz si uni' al gruppo per l'album live/studio Night of the living dregs (Capricorn, 1979).

Dregs of the earth (Arista, 1980), Unsung heroes (Arista, 1981) e Industry Standard (Arista, 1982) mostrano ancora il loro caratteristico approccio alla fusion e includono frequenti elementi country ed heavy metal.

Dopo lo scioglimento, i lavori di Steve Morse da solista furono di molto inferiori. The introduction (Elektra, 1984), Stand Up (MCA, 1985), High tension wires (MCA, 1989), Southern Street (MCA, 1991), Coast to Coast (MCA, 1992), Structural Damage (Windham Hill, 1995), Stress Fest (Windham Hill, 1996) furono opere di atmosfera e new age che mostravano il suo talento ma che contenevano poche buone composizioni.

Andy West prosegui' facendo new age con Zazen.

I Dixie Dregs originali (eccetto Sloan sostituito da Jerry Goodman) si riunirono per Bring 'em back alive (Capricorn, 1992), Full Circle (Capricorn, 1994) e California Screaming (Zebra, 2000).

Major impacts (Magna Carta, 2000), album solo di Morse, rende omaggio ai suoi idoli con un repertorio di canzoni ciascuna ispirata a uno di essi.

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