The Dixie Dregs were formed in Florida by a group of Georgia musicians (then students) and their fellow schoolmates: guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Andy West, drummer Rod Morgenstein, violinist Allen Sloan and keyboardist Steve Davidowski. They debuted with the all-instrumental album Free Fall (Capricorn, 1977), playing a mixture of jazz-rock and southern-boogie that bridged the Allman Brothers Band and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the Doobie Brothers and Weather Report.
What If (Capricorn, 1978) remains their masterpiece. The musicians have bloomed into a tightly-knit unit and Morse's material is top-rate. Night Meets Light and Take It Off The Top run the gamut from atmospheric improvisation to driving rock. Keyboardist T Lavitz entered the band for the live/studio album Night Of The Living Dregs (Capricorn, 1979).
The albums recorded as the Dregs, i.e. Dregs Of The Earth (Arista, 1980), Unsung Heroes (Arista, 1981), with Day 444, and especially Industry Standard (Arista, 1982), with fiddler Mark O'Connor and (for the first time) a couple of vocal tracks, still displayed their trademark approach to fusion and frequently included elements of bluegrass and heavy metal, although they were self-indulgent compared with the first two.
After the break-up, Steve Morse focused on a solo carreer, but joined Deep Purple in 1996. Andy West went on to play new age music with Zazen. The original Dixie Dregs reunited (with Sloan replaced by Jerry Goodman) for Bring 'Em Back Alive (Capricorn, 1992), Full Circle (Capricorn, 1994) and California Screaming (Zebra, 2000). Fanart Banner