Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Dixie Dregs — California Screamin'
(Zebra Records ZS 44021-2, 2000, CD)
by Mike Grimes, Published 2000-10-01
After a six-year hiatus, the Dregs have returned with a 25th anniversary live “reunion” album of sorts. In addition to the five-piece band that released 1994's Full Circle, original members Allen Sloan (violin) and Andy West (bass) have returned to the fold to round out the biggest Dregs line-up ever — a seven-member crew that played a handful of concerts last summer. The tunes on California Screamin' were recorded at the band's LA shows during that brief tour. Thankfully, there's no overlap between the songs on this release and the previous live “reunion” CD - 1992's Bring 'Em Back Alive, making the two releases complementary. In typical Dregs fashion, there are a few interesting cover songs in the set — Zappa's “Peaches en Regalia” and the Allman Brothers Band's “Jessica.” The remainder of the set list is a collection of tracks culled from the band's back catalog. The playing is typical Dregs — virtuoso displays from every instrument. Excellent versions of “Freefall” and “Night Meets Light” (one of their best tunes!) are standout tracks. It's good to see T. Lavitz back at the keys, and his playing is especially good on this album. Hopefully, this release will serve as a stepping stone to a new studio album in the near future.
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