Dixie Dregs - Originally evolving out of an outfit called Dixie Grit, the Dregs (as they later became known), were formed in 1973 by guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Andy West, violinist Allen Sloane and drummer Rod Morgenstein, whilst they were attending the University of Miami S chool of Music in Florida in the US. Adding Steve Davidowski on keyboards, they released their fairly rare debut album, "The Great Spectacular", in 1976. The were signed to Capricorn Records and released "Freefall" in 1977, with Mark P arrish replacing Davidowski. The Dregs' music is best described as country rock with slight jazzy and blues undertones. One glaring omission about the Dregs' music were vocals of any sort (for their first five albums at least. One oft heir albums was even titled "Unsung Heroes", although Santana/Brian Auger's Oblivion Express vocalist Alex Ligertwood and The Doobie Brother's Patrick S immonds did feature on their "Industry Standard" album in 1982). The band s plit in 1982, with Steve Morse embarking on a successful solo career. Rod M orgenstein later joined Winger and also featured with keyboard player Jordan Rudess. The Dregs reformed in 1994 and released the excellent "Full Circle" album, with ex-Flock/Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jerry Goodman. Of more importance (to Deep Purple fans, at any rate!), Steve Morse joined Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Jon Lord as a fully fledged member of the B ritish giants and has fitted in perfectly! The Dregs are obviously still a m ajor passion of his, as our giveaway album was released in 2000, proving that Dixie Dregs seem to be very much alive and kicking. With the amount of time and effort Morse is putting into Purple and the Dregs, he can't be enjoying much of a social life!  
Question (of the Dino Quiz number 199): Who was Dixie Dregs' guitarist and co-founder, now playing guitar with Deep Purple? 
Answer: Steve Morse. 

  
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Biography by Steve Huey
One of the top jazz-rock fusion ensembles ever, the Dixie Dregs combined virtuoso technique with eclecticism and a sense of humor and spirit too frequently lacking in similar projects. Guitarist Steve Morse and bassist Andy West played together as high school students in Augusta, Georgia in a conventional rock band called Dixie Grit. When Morse was expelled from school for refusing to cut his hair, he enrolled at the University of Miami School of Music, where he met violinist Allen Sloan, who had played with the Miami Philharmonic, and drummer Rod Morgenstein. The three decided to form a band, and Morse convinced West to come to Miami and join. The Dixie Dregs completed their lineup with keyboardist Steve Davidowski. Their first album, The Great Spectacular, was recorded for a class project in 1975 and later released by the band (it is long out of print). Following graduation, the quintet began playing live around the South and got their break after opening for Sea Level on 1976, when a representative from Capricorn Records was impressed enough to sign them. Mark Parrish, a former member of Dixie Grit, replaced Davidowski for their official debut, 1977's Free Fall. Their follow-up, What If, proved to be one of their most artistically successful albums, and the Dregs played at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival with T Lavitz replacing Parrish. Half of Night of the Living Dregs contains excerpts from that concert. The group shortened their name to the Dregs for 1981's Unsung Heroes, and added both vocalists and three-time national fiddling champ Mark O'Connor, whose old-timey playing style added another dimension to the group's sound, for Industry Standard. The Dregs then disbanded; the highly respected Morse formed his own band and recorded several albums, later joining Kansas from 1986 to 1988, while Morgenstein hooked up with pop-metallists Winger.

The Dregs reunited briefly in 1988 for a series of live dates, but a full-fledged reunion didn't take place until 1992, with Morse, Lavitz, Morgenstein, and Dave LaRue of the Steve Morse Band in West's place. Allen Sloan rejoined only briefly, with his position then filled by ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra member Jerry Goodman. Bring 'Em Back Alive was culled from the group's tour, and 1994's Full Circle was also well-received. California Screamin' followed in early 2000. 

 

Steve Morse
T. Lavitz
Stephen Davidowski
Rod Morgenstein
Mark Parrish
Allen Sloan
Andy West

Eric Johnson
Shawn Lane
Steve Morse
Charlie Daniels
The Allman Brothers Band
Gregg Allman
.38 Special
The Outlaws
Les Dudek

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Dixie Dregs - 1975 - The Great Spectacular - 2/5

Dixie Dregs - 1977 - Free Fall - 4/5

Dixie Dregs - 1978 - What If - 4.5/5

Dixie Dregs - 1979 - Night of the Living Dregs - 4/5

Dixie Dregs - 1980 - Dregs of the Earth - 3/5

Dixie Dregs - 1981 - Unsung Heroes - 2.5/5

Dixie Dregs - 1982 - Industry Standard - 4.5/5

Dixie Dregs - 1992 - Bring 'em Back Alive - 3/5

Dixie Dregs - 1994 - Full Circle - 3/5

Dixie Dregs - 1997 - King Biscuit Presents Dixie Dregs - 3/5

Dixie Dregs - 2000 - California Screamin' - 4/5

Dixie Dregs - 2004 - From the Front Row, Live - 4/5

Rating

 

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