The Alex Dixon Band

The Alex Dixon Band
Rising From The Bushes

Dixon Landing Music

By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
May 2009

This is the second project from Alex Dixon and Dixon Landing Music that Mary4Music is proud to be involved with. Between the quality of the music I'm hearing, the information on future projects included in the attached press releases and the whole concept that this company represents, I know there are going to be many more.

Although it's difficult, I'm going to suppress the urge to tell you all about this recording company's mission and it's founder's biography. As exciting as it is, I'll just advise you to go to www.dixonlandingmusic.com and read for yourself just what it is that's got me so pumped up. In the meantime, let me tell you about the disc.

Besides a few words from Grandpa Willie Dixon to open and close the disc, the players on Rising From The Bushes have collectively played with Willie, Koko Taylor, B. B. King, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Bettye LaVette, Eric Clapton, Steve Miller and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Those stars are: Alex Dixon on keyboards and piano, James Gadson and Alvino Bennet on drums, Gerald Johnson on bass and vocals; Alan “B. B. Chung King” Mirikitani on guitar and vocals; Marcy “Marcella Detroit” and David Dills on vocals, and Michael Fell on Harmonica.

After Willie Dixon reminds us that “Blues is the roots of all American music,” the disc opens with “Fantasy.” This one's a great mix of blues styles. With the rhythm guys in somewhat of a funky groove, it features serious, soulful blues vocals from Marcy and scorching riffs of Chicago blues guitar from Mirikitani.

One of the hottest tracks on the disc is a cover of one of grandpa's songs - “Down In The Bottom.” This one flat out smokes and everyone is totally jammin' throughout. The discís best guitar, piano and rhythm work can all be heard right here.

It's the bandleaderís time to shine on “My Suspicious Mind.” From start to finish, Alex's extraordinary piano work is highlighted. Of course, Mirikitani gets in some great guitar licks and does a superb job with the vocals.

It's quite interesting the way the vocal duties are passed around on this project. What's even more interesting is how on each track, the designated vocalist sings their heart out. On “Find A Way To Live,” it's Johnson's turn and he's obviously up for the task. If soulful vocals light your fire, this one's gonna burn your house down. Great rhythm and piano on this one as well.

With the conviction with which he sings it, you can't help but believe when Dills says “Everything's Gonna Be Alright.” This is a wonderfully uplifting song, with great lyrics and an incredible vocal presentation. Bennet and Fell, on drums and harp, are both quite sharp on this one as well. Easily one of the discís best.

Other tracks on Rising From The Bushes, which includes eight Alex Dixon originals, are: “Lose Control,” “Still In Love With You,” “Paint You A Picture,” “Spoonful,” and “These Are The Times.”

The disc closes with Willie once again offering his thoughts.

“The blues are just reaching it's peak and getting to where it should have been years ago,” he says this time.

I don't know when those words were originally spoken, but in this day and age, if the blues ever does reach it's peak, Alex Dixon is going to be a part of it Ė just like his Gramps was.

Editorís note: Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro, who writes reviews for blues societies all over the country, is the editor of www.mary4Music.com.

www.dixonlandingmusic.com

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