Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
14 AUG 08 DAVID VIENNA
The trio of versatile musicians that make up The Gabe Dixon Band have a talent for infusing the feeling and style of their influences into their songs without simply parroting them. The sound on the band's self-titled album, released on Fantasy later this month, somehow spans nearly 40 years of great songwriting.
Dixon says they all grew up listening to '70s staples such as Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor among others. It certainly shows, but in the best way with touches of Elton John and Jackson Browne, even some hints of more recent artists like Ben Folds Five and Keane.
"Find My Way" hearkens to a young Elton, back when he would toss in a little funk for flavor. "Far From Home" boasts elements of Stevie Wonder, including an R&B bassline and a captivatingly singable melody. There's even a Jim Croce-esque romp called "Till You're Gone," the chorus of which bravely preaches "Keep on keepin' on / Till you're gone." Grab the free download of "Five More Hours," a hopeful recount of Dixon's return to Nashville that echoes Browne's contemplative style.
My favorite cut is "All Will Be Well," which -- like the best songs penned by Taylor, Browne or Folds -- perfectly communicates a complex emotion. In this case, it is the feeling of acceptance that comes with not getting what you want, but knowing more opportunities lie ahead.
Dixon is classically trained and spent some time playing with Paul McCartney. He turned down a slot on the ex-Beatles' tour, however, to concentrate on The Gabe Dixon Band. They're on tour now, so check them out.