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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Big Dixon

Big Dixon

Review by Lorraine Kay

Big Dixon is four guys that just seem to have fun playing music. Fronting the band on lead vocals is David Mcbee, while John Fusco handles the guitars and background vocals. Mike Watson is on bass guitar and vocals, with Chris Smith finishing up this awesome rhythm section and helping out on vocals as well. McBee has been around awhile, but recently he has been stepping out and doing new things. As the newest member of the progressive rock band Rocket Scientists and hard rock band Teer, he has been more than a little busy in the studio. This recording with Big Dixon presents McBee in a rawer format than the progressive rock of Rocket Scientists. This CD highlights McBee’s versatile singing abilities ranging from a soft ballad to screaming rock and roll. He is by far one of the best male vocalists today. “I am not a ‘spring chicken,’ he’ll tell you, “but I look damn good for my age and I'm young at heart.” Either way he still has a lot of energy in his vocals and doesn’t sound like he will be doing any slowing down too soon. Which is good for us, who are looking forward to other recordings and live concerts.

It is easy to hear the enthusiasm in McBee’s voice no matter what tempo he is singing. The entire CD is very vocal driven. He gives everything he’s got on every track. "I just wanted to sing," McBee says. "It’s just about the music with me. One of the things I like about singing this kind of music is the songs tell a story through the listener's imagination. I enjoy using my voice to take people on a journey. I want them to leave a concert feeling like we were part of a great music adventure together."

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Another Day
McBee pulls out all the stops right from the get-go with this track. With powerful vocals and tight changes behind him from the band this is straight-ahead in-your-face rock and roll.
Never Knew Love
Opening with some dramatic breaks right off the top this one sets up a strong rock and roll foundation for this ballad.
The End
This track sets apart from the others with a really funky rhythm out in front with “lots of cowbell.” This is called the end, but it sounds like more.
In Focus
Starting with a nice dirty sounding guitar this song accentuates McBee’s sexy vocals. The nasty grinding rhythm and bass is enhanced by some nice background vocals.
7 Days a Week
A very bluesy and sexy track, McBee’s powerful and gritty vocals carry a lot of conviction on this song. Vocally this would be a challenge for most singers but McBee handles it with ease.
Get Ready
Picking up the tempo, this one is a fun danceable track. Also using a funky drum style this is a real hip-swinger.
Southside Boogie
As the name suggests, you might expect this to be a boogie but it is not. It is, however, a real hard driving rock and roll.
Hardcore
The band is totally in this one creating the funky foundation for McBee and the background vocals, of which there are a lot.
Bent Like the Reed
This is a real smoky ballad. A real down and dirty blues, it is a real growler for McBee. McBee’s trained voice handles the extreme vocals with seemingly little effort even on the high notes.
At The Point
This has a nice smooth medium tempo that smokes in spite of itself due to the vocals.
Can't Stop Loving You
This pretty ballad shows the softer side of McBee’s voice. That said it is rather torchey.
Sympathy
Another slow song, this one has an entirely different feel. It has a lot of textures happening especially cool bass line and powerful drum breaks.
Whisper
This is just McBee whispering. You must listen very hard.
 
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