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Any Dixie Dregs recommendations?


Sundown

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Hey all,

 

If there is one thing this forum knows, it's good keyboard music.

 

If I wanted to learn about the Dixie Dregs and hear some of their best stuff, what would you recommend?

 

I was listening to Jam On on XM/Sirius the other day and they were playing, but I could get a pen and paper fast enough to write down the track.

 

The last time I asked a question like this the reward was "Quadrant 4" (Billy Cobham / Jan Hammer). I'm hoping to be similarly surprised.

 

Thanks again,

 

Todd

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Wow. I don't remember the last time I listened to them!! I should dig those back out! I vaguely remember liking "Free Fall" and "Dregs of the Earth". They have different keyboardists, if memory serves.

 

I bumped into Andy West at a NAMM show once, and he seemed super super super nice. This has nothing to do with your question. I just thought I'd share. :D

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IMO, the first Dregs album you should check out is "What If" because it has the widest style of music across 10 or so jams with keys, guitar, bass, drums, and violin all taking solos.

 

 

You'd get to hear a wide variety of keyboard parts, so it's sort of a primer on how to fit into, and solo in, several styles of music. T Lavitz does some great work on this album.

 

I also owned "Unsung Heroes " and "Industry Standard", but "What If" is the album I recommend the most.

 

Here's a 1978 video from Montreaux [video:youtube]

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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IMO, the first Dregs album you should check out is "What If" because it has the widest style of music across 10 or so jams with keys, guitar, bass, drums, and violin all taking solos.

 

 

You'd get to hear a wide variety of keyboard parts, so it's sort of a primer on how to fit into, and solo in, several styles of music. T Lavitz does some great work on this album.

 

I'm listening to "Free Fall" now, and there's not a LOT of keyboard on it, if that's what one is after. I vaguely remember liking "What If" as well.

 

I love posts like this because they get you to revisit stuff that you haven't heard in a while.

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+1,000 for "Dregs of the Earth". I wore this out when I first discovered it back in the 80's. I love T Lavitz work on this recording. Piano, organ, ep, clav and synth are all used to great effect. Tasty solos by T. as well.

 

Bill

Nord Stage 3 Compact, Korg Kronos 61, Casio PX-5S, Yamaha DXR 10 (2)), Neo Vent, Yamaha MG82cx mixer and too many stands to name.
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"Cruise Control" was a very cool song.

 

+1 My personal fav though more for Morse's playing than Lavitz.

 

I had his (Lavitz) audio cassette years ago - it was good. Taught me to "noddle" over changes. Initially felt a bit like a jazz rock guitar player obsessed with scales - but it did what he said it would, gave me great confidence "running" single line solos over chord changes.

 

I don't do it now but it was certainly one of those "wow I've jumped up another step" points at the time.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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+1 for "Dregs of the Earth". Draw-dropping stuff, especially the bass playing. Got to see them at a NAMM show in Chicago. Andy West played half the set then (I forget his name) played the 2nd half. Andy's own band played later in the evening.

Yeah, wore out that cassette.

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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+1 for "Dregs of the Earth". Draw-dropping stuff, especially the bass playing. Got to see them at a NAMM show in Chicago. Andy West played half the set then (I forget his name) played the 2nd half. Andy's own band played later in the evening.

Yeah, wore out that cassette.

 

 

Dave La Rue on bass for second set. I agree that Andy West is wonderful on "Dregs of the Earth" as well.

Nord Stage 3 Compact, Korg Kronos 61, Casio PX-5S, Yamaha DXR 10 (2)), Neo Vent, Yamaha MG82cx mixer and too many stands to name.
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Yes, Dave La Rue-thanks. It appeared that they went from aging hippie/genius to insurance salesman on bass, but awesome playing continued.

IIRC, Andy played with computer-driven drums, kinda rare for 1980ish.

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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IMO, the first Dregs album you should check out is "What If" because it has the widest style of music across 10 or so jams with keys, guitar, bass, drums, and violin all taking solos.

 

 

You'd get to hear a wide variety of keyboard parts, so it's sort of a primer on how to fit into, and solo in, several styles of music. T Lavitz does some great work on this album.

 

I also owned "Unsung Heroes " and "Industry Standard", but "What If" is the album I recommend the most.

 

Here's a 1978 video from Montreaux [video:youtube]

 

I agree, nice album with a great selection of tunes.

 

But it's not T Lavitz playing, it's still Mark Parrish. T's first record was "Dregs Of The Earth". I love the band, and went to school, with many of them... Steve started the band as a required ensemble (for credit), and called it the University of Miami Rock Ensemble. They had two drummers (Rod and a fellow named Bart), and Hiram Bullock was the original bass player!

 

I really think the keyboards didn't come into their own in the band until T joined them. The other guys were OK players, but never stood out. With T, they found their man.

 

Besides exploring his work with the Dregs, check out some of his solo records, his work with "The Players", and his last project, "The School Of The Arts".

 

Huge talent, and really funny/warm/sweet guy. RIP.

 

Jerry

 

 

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Bring me back Alive is the one I first bought. It's brilliant. By the way at last year's Namm I asked Rod what exactly happened to T. No drugs or anything it was a blood clot. :( Glad I was able to catch one of their last shows in Tempe in 2005.
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...saw 'em live in a high school gym in Fort Pierce, Florida in '81

 

Lavitz, Morse, West, Morgenstern; O'Connor had just joined as fiddle player.

 

Unsung Heroes was spotlighted (I'd just picked it up).

 

Phenomenal.

 

 

'94 in Nashville: Ruddess on keyboards/Steve Kindler on fiddle but-they'd became the "Steve Morse Combo", and played way too loud.

 

Regardless-get their music, it's timeless.

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What If is solid. The keyboard solo from Gina Lola Breakdown gets me every time.

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I bumped into Andy West at a NAMM show once, and he seemed super super super nice. This has nothing to do with your question. I just thought I'd share. :D

I had the pleasure of playing a number of gigs with Andy, and yes, very nice guy. I can't say I got to know him well, but he was not only personable, he was also a very easy guy to work with.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yes, Dave La Rue-thanks. It appeared that they went from aging hippie/genius to insurance salesman on bass, but awesome playing continued.

 

Say what?!?!?!

 

:idk

 

Jerry

 

No idea what ChiefDanG means....

Just talking about physical appearance - started set with Mr.West, looking sorta like a mad/genius type, then switched to Mr.LaRue, clean-cut w/shirt&tie. Of course, both monster players.

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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Yes, Dave La Rue-thanks. It appeared that they went from aging hippie/genius to insurance salesman on bass, but awesome playing continued.

 

Say what?!?!?!

 

:idk

 

Jerry

 

No idea what ChiefDanG means....

Just talking about physical appearance - started set with Mr.West, looking sorta like a mad/genius type, then switched to Mr.LaRue, clean-cut w/shirt&tie. Of course, both monster players.

 

Strange... I've known (and played with) Dave for over 30 years... he's always had long hair etc. Might have had a stage tie, but I would never in a thousand years think he came off that clean cut/straight laced. Interesting.

 

Anyway, carry on!

 

:-)

 

Jerry

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Hey, jerrythek-

After a little research, the NAMM show was June, 1981. I don't think Mr. LaRue joined the Dregs till the later 80's? The guest-star-bassist I saw must have been somebody else.

You're a lucky guy to get to play with that kinda bassist, tho. Jealous.

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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