Thursday, April 07, 2005

Off to see the Dixie Dregs:

Off to see Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs. Music doesn't get much better than this.

Update: Morse never disappoints. He opened for himself too; how cool is that? The Dixie Dregs are his 5-piece (guitar, bass, drums, keys and violin); they headlined. The Steve Morse Band -- his three piece: guitar, bass, and drums -- opened.

Both the SMB and Dixie Dregs have the same guitarist and bassist: Morse, and Dave LaRue, respectively. But each have different drummers. The Dixie Dregs long time drummer is Rod Morgenstein, who alas, you may remember him from the 1980s pop-metal band Winger (I'm sure he did that for the $$$). He also now teaches at Berklee where he attended (and so did Dave LaRue). He wasn't teaching when I was there though.

At the end of the show SMB drummer Van Romaine came on stage and did a dual drum solo with Morgenstein. And then they closed with both on drums.

The Dixie Dregs originally had a different bass player, Andy West, who is now a computer programmer and a different violinist, Allen Sloan, MD, now an Anesthesiologist. Morse even quit the music business twice, once to become a farmer, and the second, a commercial pilot for TWA (tells you something about the music business).

When I saw them a few years ago, "old" bassist Andy West played with them throughout the entire night. Literally, for 1/2 the songs there were two bassist playing double lines, sometimes breaking off into octaves and harmonies. For the other half of the set, West played guitar and doubled either Steve or Dave.

Finally, one of the highlights of the show is the fact that the man who replaced Allen Sloan, MD on violin is none other than Jerry Goodman, the former violinist for the Mahavishnu Orchestra (one of the Dregs's main influences). Even though Morse is the star of the band, simply seeing Jerry Goodman play, by itself makes a Dregs show worth going to.

Check out one of their songs. Technically they are an instrumental rock/fusion band, a "fusion" of rock, jazz, blues, country and classical. Morse calls this style "electric chamber music."

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