Fusion, anyone? During their heyday in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Dixie Dregs were one of the most electrifying bands in America-a group of true virtuosos who churned out a blend of rock and jazz filled with bold twists and hairpin turns, crunching power chords and daring rhythmic shifts. They were a sort of Southern-fried Mahavishnu orchestra. over the years, their style of music fell out of favor and the members drifted into far-flung bands of every description (the lowest being guitarist/leader Steve Morse’s stint with Kansas). This live album, recorded last summer, brings together the classic Dregs lineup of Morse, keyboardist T. Lavitz, power-drummer Rod Morgenstein, bassist Andy West and violinist Allen Sloan (plus bassist Dave LaRue and former Mahavishnu violinist Jerry Goodman) for a spirited romp through a number of DD favorites, including “Wages of Weirdness,” “The Great Spectacular,” “The Bash” (“Wabash Cannonball”) and “Refried Funky Chicken.” The group also tosses in a couple of well-chosen covers: Frank Zappa’s immortal “Peaches En Regalia” (with guest Dweezil Zappa) and the Allman Brothers’ sprightly “Jessica.” It may not be enough to truly revive this moribund musical genre, but at the very least this disc shows us again what incredible musicians the Dregs are. More than just nostalgia, this is hot stuff right now.
Producer: Steve Morse. Recorded live at the Roxy Theater (L.A.). Engineer: Mark Linnett. Mixed at MoR Studios (FL). Mixers: Steve Morse and Dave LaRue. Mastering: Joe Gastwirt/oceanView Digital Mastering.