Exposé Online banner

Dixie Dregs — Full Circle
(Capricorn Records 2-42021, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-08-01

Full Circle Cover art

After a less-than-spectacular live release a few years back, the Dregs are back with an all new studio release, their first in well over ten years. So what's new with these well known purveyors of funky-jazz rock with an occasional dip into classical and country realms? Well, to start with, the lineup here is nearly the same as the more recent records, with the exception of Jerry Goodman, who fills in the violin spot vacated by Allen Sloan. Steve Morse is here on guitar, of course, and as usual wrote all the original material and produced; long-timer Rod Morgenstein plays drums, with T. Lavitz and Dave LaRue on keys and bass respectively. For anyone not familiar with these guys (could there be anyone who has never heard "Punk Sandwich" or "Country House Shuffle" from the old days?), their style combines the southern rock ethic with an instrumental attack closer to the likes of Kansas, for a sound that is truly American, both in spirit and emotion — a gutsy, instrumental rock stew topped off with some colorful cerebral elaborations. Morse's guitar plays into both ends of the mix, offering contradictions and a certain amount of incongruity. Add to that some adventurous sorties into country-styled guitar and semi-disciplined classical techniques, plus a measured amount of irreverence and anarchy. That review could apply to any of the Dixie Dregs' albums, though, and more than anything identifies the major weakness with Full Circle: the band simply isn't going anywhere new; this album, while not as flashy and brilliant as Freefall or What If (their second and third albums respectively), it's at least equal to anything they've done since, and contains no real surprises. Still, if you liked those albums and want to hear more of the same, then I'd recommend it highly; also for the newbie, it's probably as good a place as any to start.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 4, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Dixie Dregs, Jerry Goodman, Steve Morse

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dogma - Album – In my opinion, this is what a neo-progressive album should sound like. Dogma's debut is an excellent album, very much in the instrumental style that Pendragon started on with the second part of...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues