CD Review of The Gabe Dixon Band by The Gabe Dixon Band
Recommended if you like
Ben Folds, Elton John, Billy Joel
Label
Fantasy
The Gabe Dixon Band:
The Gabe Dixon Band

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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S
ome singer/songwriters have the ability to draw listeners in as if by magnetic force, and Nashville’s Gabe Dixon is one who seems to generate that force with minimal effort. That’s not to say Dixon is lazy; rather, the man is an extraordinary songwriter and piano player, and along with Winston Harris on bass and Jano Rix on drums, The Gabe Dixon band has delivered a very complete 12-song effort for Fantasy Records, a division of the Concord Music Group.

Dixon himself has played and toured with Paul McCartney, so he almost has taken on pop music royalty by osmosis. Not surprisingly, Dixon has a knack for wrapping piano chords and riffs around melodies you’ll be singing along with after a couple of listens.  And with help from co-producer Neal Cappelino (Alison Krauss, Mindy Smith, Jonny Lang) and Dan Wilson (the Semisonic lead singer who has written hits for the Dixie Chicks), this album was a can’t-miss project from the start.

Gabe Dixon Band

“Disappear” is a slow to mid-tempo starter that lacks the traditional energy of an opening track, but it’s one of the album’s most powerful tracks. Following that is “Five More Hours,” the album’s best song, and one that you can’t help but crank up in the car with the windows open. But the hit parade doesn’t end there. “Further the Sky” is a pretty anthem featuring fellow Nashville artist Mindy Smith and is followed by the Billy Joel-esque “All Will Be Well.” “Find My Way” and “Till You’re Gone” have a bluesy, Marc Broussard feel and Dixon and his band can turn down the volume nicely on tracks like “Baby Doll” and “And the World Turned.”

Along the way, you’ll hear elements of Elton John, Joel, and other ‘70s-rooted pop icons like Jackson Browne -- as well as more current soulful artists like Broussard and another fellow Nashvillian, Ben Folds. Gabe Dixon takes control of the keyboard and his rich tenor was made to sing this sort of pop/rock fare. But more than that, Dixon was born to write songs, and he’s quickly become a player in the one city known for its songwriting.

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