Critically acclaimed and six-time GRAMMY®-Award nominated musical virtuosos, The Dixie Dregs (a.k.a The Dregs) are gearing up for their “Dawn of the Dregs Tour,” a national U.S. headlining tour that will bring them to over 25 cities this year including Ponte Vedra Beach on Thursday, March 1, at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
The upcoming performances will mark the first time in 40 years the original band - Steve Morse (guitar), Andy West (bass), Allen Sloan (violin), Steve Davidowski (keyboards) and Rod Morgenstein (drums) - will share the stage.
“This tour is the result of the overwhelming requests we’ve received from a loyal audience of diehard Dregheads, and new fans who have never seen us perform live, but discovered the band for the first time through Steve’s membership in Deep Purple, or Rod as the drummer for Winger,” said West, Dreg’s bassist. “We can’t wait to play for them all.”
For guitar aficionados, Morse needs no introduction, and his place in the pantheon of guitar greats is certain. But in fact, his career started with the Dixie Dregs. The band traces its true beginnings to the band Dixie Grit, which started in a Georgia high school with Morse on guitar and West on bass. Dixie Grit morphed into the Dixie Dregs at the University of Miami School of Music, where Sloan and Morgenstein joined up with Morse and West, who were the “dregs” of Dixie Grit.
The members of the Dixie Dregs remained committed to attending the University of Miami School of Music, which hosted a lively and talented musical community during their tenure, including future greats Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, T. Lavitz and Bruce Hornsby, among many others. In 1975, the group's demo album, “The Great Spectacular,” was recorded at the University of Miami and then re-released on CD in 1997.
After graduation, the band moved back to Augusta, Georgia, where Davidowski completed the band. The band paid its dues and honed its skills playing in bars and venues throughout the South in the mid-70s. It established itself in the firmament of American instrumental music, seamlessly fusing rock with progressive and jazz elements to create a uniquely instrumental-driven style.
Based on a short demo and a tip from former Allman Brothers keyboardist Chuck Leavell along with legendary Allman/Dregs tour manager Twiggs Lyndon, Capricorn Records signed the Dixie Dregs to record “Free Fall” (1977). The success and critical acclaim of “Free Fall” announced the Dixie Dregs to the world, and after its release, the band would become a cult-favorite that would have a lasting influence on much of modern rock.
Tickets for the Ponte Vedra show are on sale now. For more information available, go to www.dixiedregs.com/tour.