Finally now being made available here in the US thanks to the folks at Eagle Rock Entertainment is this smoking live set from the Dixie Dregs taped back in 1978 at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival. No doubt a breath of fresh air to the festival, the band's mix of jazz fusion, rock, country, classical, progressive rock, and bluegrass was something new for the hardcore jazzers who regularly attended this festival. At the time if this show the line-up of the Dixie Dregs was made up of Steve Morse (guitar), Andy West (bass), Allen Sloan (violin), Rod Morgenstein (drums), and Mark Parrish (keyboards), and the album that the band had been touring on was What If. Fans of the classic Night of the Living Dregs album will recognize a few songs from that album, as their versions are taken directly from this show, those being "Night of the Living Dregs", "Patchwork", "Leprechaun Promenade", and "The Bash".
The band, as always, were totally on fire here and deliver one jaw-dropping piece after another. While fusiony rockers like "Free Fall", "Wages of Weirdness", and the classic "Take It Off the Top" rip from beginning to end, it's the country-shuffle/bluegrass pieces that really wow, like "The Bash", "Kathreen", "Country House Shuffle", and "Dixie", leaving the audience on their feet and giving one standing ovation after another. Morse and Sloan especially deliver the goods, with blistering country solos doing battle with each other at breakneck speed. The quility of the recording is pretty good, with only a hint of occasional grain to the picture, and the sound pretty decent considering how old the source material is. The set itself is not that long, about 45 minutes, so you will be left wanting more obviously.
As far as bonus material, you get two tracks from Dick Clark's American Bandstand show, one being "Crank It Up" with Alex Ligertwood on vocals, and the other "Bloodsucking Leeches", both from the Industry Standard album. Sadly, the band is not really playing here and just going through the motions to the album recording. The other bonus is a red hot performance from Don Kirshner's Rock Concert of "Punk Sandwich", with the band all dressed up in hilarious suits. Longtime keyboard player T. Lavitz appears on all of the bonus material.
So, what are you waiting for all you Dixie Dregs fans-order this up, and pronto! No collection would be complete without it!
1. Free Fall
2. Leprechaun Promenade
3. Country House Shuffle
5. Attila The Hun
6. The Bash
7. Night Of The Living Dregs
8. Wages of Weirdness
9. Take It Off The Top
12. Crank It Up-Bonus, American Bandstand
13. Bloodsucking Leeches-Bonus, American Bandstand
14. Punk Sandwich-Bonus, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert