Dixie Dregs
Unsung Heroes


4.0
excellent

Review

by OmairSh USER (31 Reviews)
May 25th, 2020 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dixie Dregs do what they know best, produce high quality jazz rock fusion courtesy of guitar maestro Steve Morse's songwriting talents, and a group of top tier musicians in support

As eerie as the album cover is (almost Silent Hill-esque in its’ aesthetic), it’s kind of fitting for the music presented here. There certainly are no vocals present, and it is a naked and bare presentation of the band’s music. All five members were in their prime in terms of skill and musical ability, and this was to be co-founding member Allen Sloan’s final album with the Dregs. A suitable swansong.

The production is polished but organic. All of the instruments sound pretty crisp, with Andy West’s bass in particular sounding very pleasant, but the album doesn’t sound overproduced, and that’s an advantage. Steve Morse, as per usual, presents a host of different guitar tones and effects that are at times driving the song, while at other times are complementing a melody, or being used for a lead. I imagine guitarists must enjoy playing this album at home, as a personal challenge for themselves. Such is the diversity here at display, and Steve Morse displays his complete skillset throughout the course of the album in terms of his playing as well as songwriting. Bringing all the instruments together to perform a fusion of styles ranging from jazz fusion to rock, to bluegrass and classical, and funk at times.

The songwriting is more focused on Unsung Heroes and that’s evident from the song lengths, as the majority of the songs hover around the four minute mark, with the exception of “Day 444” which just crosses seven minutes. But as is tradition on most, if not all Dregs albums, there needs to be a six-plus minute track for Steve Morse more “Experimental” and “Proggy” inclinations. T Lavitz’ contributions are excellent as per usual, with his usage of organic instrumentation being particularly enjoyable. In him Steve had found the perfect keyboardist that was equally adept in playing aggressive rock music as he was with delicate classical and technical jazz music. It feels as if there was room for even more of his presence. Allen Sloan's violin tone and performance is as stellar as ever. Joining in the music whenever needed, and meshing smoothly. On this album there are swirling futuristic analogue synths, floating violin melodies, complex harmonies between the guitar and violin often, driving and inventive basslines, alongside an array of musical intermeshing that has at times multiple melodies being played in tandem, yet still sounding melodious.

On the contrary, and to be on the Devil’s side for a minute, at times some of the compositions can feel slightly meandering, even with their shorter lengths, which has been a problem on a few Dregs songs in the past. Another gripe of mine is that the band doesn’t tread much new music territory on this album. Now they may be victims of their own making since they’ve covered nearly every genre within the realm of what’s possible with their five instruments, but possibly some more sonic experimentation could have been explored by the group to freshen things up slightly. With that being said, that is not to fault this album in any way. This album is still a very strong outing, and another stellar addition to the group’s discography. A mature and reliably enjoyable Dixie Dregs album, and a worthy investment of your time if you enjoy instrumental music that indulges in rock, jazz fusion, bluegrass, classical, and everything in between.

Rock and Roll Park https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU1BkobIzAg&list=PL9E8550BA5A4A472A&am p;index=3




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user ratings (17)
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
OmairSh
May 25th 2020


16235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As a long time Dregs fan it was about time I wrote a review for an album



1. Rock and Roll Park https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU1BkobIzAg&list=PL9E8550BA5A4A472A&index=3



2. Attila the Hun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slkd-jIIPjI&list=PL9E8550BA5A4A472A&index=1

Digging: Jim Matheos - Away with Words

deathschool
May 25th 2020


25687 Comments


Great band!

Freefall and What If rule hard

Pikazilla
May 25th 2020


11284 Comments


Agreed

OmairSh
May 25th 2020


16235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, those two albums are their best. All their albums are great honestly, one of my favourite bands

OmairSh
May 25th 2020


16235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Day 444 is one of the band's best longer songs. So good

Titan
May 25th 2020


20765 Comments


Not my favorite band in the world, but it is a damn fine review bro

OmairSh
May 25th 2020


16235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gracias mi hermano :-). Was jamming this after ages and thought I should review a Dregs album. Might also do another one in the future, lets see

deathschool
May 25th 2020


25687 Comments


Pos. Haven’t heard this album, but based on the albums I mentioned, you do a great job of describing their sound. Might check this.

OmairSh
May 25th 2020


16235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude! I put a couple of links in my first comment if you want a primer. Its pretty much what you'd expect from them

wildinferno2010
May 26th 2020


584 Comments


Nice review, dude. Sounds interesting, I'll make sure to keep these guys in mind next time I'm in the mood for a good 70s (well, 80s, but you know) rock band.

OmairSh
May 26th 2020


16235 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Grazi dude! Whenever you're in that mood I'd rec "What If" or "Freefall" first

wildinferno2010
May 26th 2020


584 Comments


Noted. You know, once this whole quarantine thing is over, I reckon there's a good chance I might stumble upon something by these guys next time I go shopping for old records. They just seem like that kind of band

e210013
May 27th 2020


2937 Comments


Maybe I check these guys one of these days. Nice work pal. Pos.



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