(Dixie) Dregs

The Arista Years (1980-82)

Working backwards in time, the last three Dregs albums of the first incarnation of the band were all on Arista Records. Clive Davis was weirdly OK in my book. Anyone who would sign The Dregs, Happy the Man, and the Brecker Brothers had to be a little out there! He is significantly responsible for some great careers and music, which you can look up if you don’t know about him and his place in modern music history. But then again, he also signed O-Town (do a search on that one. very bizarre) and also a lot of other garbage that made him, and others, wealthy and famous.

All these Dregs albums can be heard from links on the main Music page, as well as at the usual streaming suspects.

Industry Standard (1982 – 4th Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Instrumental album)


Includes our attempt to gain more commercial acceptance (i.e. sell out?…heh) with 2 songs that have vocals. The singing was performed by Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, and Steve Walsh of Kansas. There is some great instrumental music here also, of course. “Assembly Line” is a really challenging and neat tune. Co-produced by Eddy Offord of Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and many others…


Unsung Heroes (1981 – 3rd Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Instrumental album)

Unsung Heroes

I think this was a great evolution of Steve’s compositional ability. Overall, my favorite Dregs album.


Dregs of the Earth (1980 – 2rd Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Instrumental album)


Our first of three with Steve Morse producing. Features one of the most amazing guitar notes ever recorded, during the solo on “Twiggs Approved”…imho


The Capricorn Years (1977-79)

This was our first record deal and first three albums were made under Capricorn. There is a long tale to be told regarding this period of time. Hopefully I will get around to it before I forget it all!

Night of the Living Dregs (1979 – 1st Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Instrumental album)

Ken Scott producing again, this time recorded live at the 1978 Montreaux Jazz Festival, Switzerland. It was great. Unfortunately (for me, but lucky for everyone else), some of the bass tracks ended up being overdubbed because they either sounded bad or there were mistakes that could be easily fixed. Still, in general it captured the sound of the band live. We got our first Grammy nomination on this. Some speculate they created the category for us, as this was the first year it occurred!


What If (1978)


Our first chance to work with our favorite, awesome producer, Ken Scott. He is amazing and I really like the album a lot. This album is much more mature sounding than Free Fall.


Free Fall (1977)


Our first commercial album! At the time we thought it was a really horrible recording, kind of ‘weak’ sounding. But now when I listen to it it has a lot of heart in the songs and some kind of innocence comes through. This was produced by a very interesting guy, Stewart Levine. Generally, a happy time was had by all.

Other Dregs Releases

Later releases by the Dregs that were recorded while I was in the band:
Ensoniq Promo (1988) – Dregs/Off the Record – re-recordings of “Leprechaun Promenade” and “Take it off the top” done at Steve’s studio when we all got together for 2 or 3 days.
The Best of the Dregs (1989) – Divided We Stand – a sampler of the Arista recordings plus a live version of “Take it off the top”. If you are only buying one album, this one represents us well. I think all really worth having though 🙂
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents the Dixie Dregs (1997) – a very good live recording.
The Show That Never Ends – King Biscuit Best of Progressive Rock (1998) – 2 cuts from the previously mentioned King Biscuit Flower Hour along with ELP, Renaissance, Gentle Giant, Rick Wakeman, and Greg Lake. It’s cool to be included with Gentle Giant…
Alive Down South (Released?) – Polygram Records – A bunch of southern rock bands recorded live at “Rebel Jam” in 1978. Two tracks, “Take it off the top”(will it never end?) and “Macon Bacon” which is not recorded anywhere else. The largest crowd we ever played to…