The Blues Experience with Cash McCall
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The Blues Experience with Cash McCall

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Sep
12
The Blues Experience with Cash McCall @ Ranchita Rocks Festival

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego, California, USA

Jun
21
The Blues Experience with Cash McCall @ Long Beach Bayou Festival

Long Beach, California, USA

Long Beach, California, USA

Jun
08
The Blues Experience with Cash McCall @ Double Door

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Als je opa Willie Dixon heet, en je bij hem opgroeide, dan ben je voorbestemd om bluesartiest te worden. Alex Dixon leerde piano spelen van Lafayette Leake, Arthur "Butch" Dixon, zijn oom en Leonard Caston, beter bekend als "Baby Doo", drie pianisten die achtereenvolgens in Willie Dixon's band speelden. Hij schreef zelfs songs voor het laatste album dat Willie ooit opnam, namelijk "Hidden Charms" en die een Grammy won. Alex groeide op in de omgeving van bluesgroten als Bo Diddley, B.B King, KokoTaylor en Chuck Berry. Na zich voornamelijk met studeren bezig te houden tijdens zijn tienerjaren en tot zijn vierentwintigste, kwam hij wat later toch terug naar de blues, een Dixon uit Chicago lijkt daarvoor in de wieg gelegd. Hij vormde nu samen met zijn vrouw de firma "Dixon Landing Music", en heeft zichzelf als doel gesteld de Chicago blues, die mede dankzij zijn grootvader zo een belangrijke stijl werd, terug in ere te herstellen en jonge minder bekende artiesten daartoe de kans te geven. Hij heeft samen met "grandpa Willy" een veertigtal songs geschreven, die nog grotendeels moeten uitgebracht worden. Samen met Cash McCall, nog een bekende gitarist /zanger uit de hoogdagen van de Chicago blues heeft hij nu een eerste eigen cd gemaakt met zijn band "The Blues Experience". Naast hem speelt de jonge mondharmonicaspeler Steve Bell, bij de echte bluesfan zal er nu al wel een belletje rinkelen (die woordspeling is ongewild). Steve is namelijk de zoon van overbekende Carey Bell, die in mei van dit jaar overleed, en Steve belooft een waardige opvolger van Carey te worden, als je hem hier bezig hoort. Hoewel er dus meerdere Dixons in de Chicago blueswereld bezig zijn, is Alex de enige die na zijn groorvader een cd geproduceerd, geschreven, en opgenomen heeft. Die opnames gebeurden in Hollywood.CA. in de Bell studio. Cash McCall, die op "The Vintage Room" de hoofdrol vervult is dertig jaar geleden gestart met gospel want dat was zijn grote passie. Hij zong en speelde gitaar in een gospelgroepje "The Gospel Songbirds" waarin niet alleen hij zijn debuut maakte, maar de leadzanger was niemand minder dan Otis Clay. Toen hij twintig was werkte hij voor de Chess studios als songwriter, en schreef, (schrik niet) 360 nummers voor grootheden als Howlin Wolf, Muddy Water, Little Milton, Little Johnny Taylor en anderen, waarvan een goot gedeelte een hit werden. Als gitarist speelde hij onder meer bij Minnie Ripperton, die lange tijd zijn vriendin wasn Natalie Cole, Etta James, Temptations, Drifters, en natuurlijk Willie Dixon. Hij speelde bij de Chicago All Stars en een bekende andere Chicago bluesband Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows, later de Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings. Nu na 20 jaar is Cash terug en hij heeft niks van zijn pluimen verloren. Met deze "The Vintage Room" heeft Alex Dixon zijn doelstelling, de Chicago blues terug laten schitteren, alle eer aangedaan, want dit is echte Chicago blues, authentiek en toch tegelijkertijd met een ietwat moderner geluid. "Helluva Time" bijvoorbeeld, de openingssong is een nummer dat veel van "Wang Dang Doodle" in zich heeft, was het iemand anders geweest, zouden we zelfs van plagiaat durven spreken, maar we gaan het hier houden bij een tribute, en dat is het ook in feite, want het is één opeenhoping van namen van bluesgroten. De cd is gevuld met drie bekende covers van opa Dixon: "I'm Ready", "Bring It On Home", het overbekende "I Just Want To Make Love To You" en een song waar Cash Mc Call samen met Willie voor tekende, "Mama". Al de andere songs zijn van Alex Dixon en daarvan valt vooral het sterke "Slice Of That Pie" op. Dit is een van de meest pure Chicago bluesplaten die de laatste maanden gemaakt is, de covers zullen wel een beetje een déja vu gevoel oproepen, maar het gitaarwerk van Cash en de mondharmonica van Steve Bell zijn voldoende om de hoogdagen van Chess terug op te roepen, en deze cd door hun vakmanschap de sfeer te geven zoals de platen van Muddy, Wolf en Walter lang geleden.
(RON)
www.rootstime.be
- ROOTSTIME


“Luv what you are doing and it has more credence than some of the sons/Grandsons of the famous that are sounding like tribute bands. Take care.”
Billy of "Blues Matters" magazine

“This is a great honor. Your grandfather is the greatest songwriter that ever lived. Your music sounds great!!!! You've got the sound. I'm very happy to meet you.”
Pat Sheridan of The Pat Sheridan Band

“Thanks for the add request but the pleasure is all mine. I am honored to be your friend. Willie Dixon has been THE major influence on my musical career. I was watching video of him into the early hour's of this morning, awe inspiring. You sound great, very authentic. I close my eyes and I'm in 40's/50's Chicago, very best wishes.”
Andy Nervous, Musician

“Thanks for the friendship! Your music is the REAL deal!”
MusicLoad.com

“….brilliant Blues is running in your space and in your veins.... Keep up, Blues is here to stay!”
Ben, from France

“….I really like your tunes. Time to airplay some of them….”
Rob deFries, BluesTrainFM, Radio Station, The Netherlands

“OOOOOh! YES!!!! How GOOOOOD to meet you and your BLUES.... SO, SO GOOD!!!!!!!! GREAT VOICE!! Great everything : )”
Sophie Reed, Musician

“…..Now this is music!!”
BugGIRL, Musician

“….GREAT big bluesy sound ~ Now THATS what I'm talking about, music I can get my teeth into….”
Blues Fan

“….Like him (your grandfather) you really have the vibe for this music; keep rockin'!....”
Matt Chell Pain

“Hugs all round -I tell you I just finished work - adrelin pumpin - hectic - listened to your magical tunes - so calm now - I thank u - just great”
Annette, Blues Fan from Australia

“If you have ever heard Willie Dixon or even Muddy Waters before...This CD will send Chills down the back of your neck!!!!! Unbelievable!!!!!”
Rob Martinez, Legacy Entertainment

“GrandPa Willie would be proud that you’re carrying the torch.”
Steve Crabtree, The Ride

“Ain't nothin' like the old school blues....That's the way it should be done! Good sounds!! Great groove!!!”
Rik Freeze

“…..if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be "I Just Want to Make Love to You." No doubt your grandfather would be very proud of that one.”
Tony-Paul Dunn, Musician
- Various


Update: November 26, 2007
Fans may be interested to know that Willie Dixon's grandson Alex Dixon has recently joined forces with the former Chess Records session guitarist/composer Cash McCall and released their debut CD titled "The Blues Experience - The Vintage Room" (Dixon Landing Music).
Reminiscent of Chicago blues in its heyday, the opening track of the CD, a track titled "Helluva Time", gives a name check and pays tribute to all the Chess Records and blues greats that have influenced and inspired Alex Dixon, including BO DIDDLEY, Chuck Berry, Big Bill Broonzy, his late grandfather Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Elmore James, Etta James, Robert Johnson, BB King, Charley Patton, Koko Taylor, Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf.
Alex Dixon, at the age of 32, is currently the only musician in the Dixon family to have written, produced, arranged and recorded a CD since his grandfather, Willie Dixon, who was a producer, arranger and writer for some of the most famous blues songs ever. Some of those songs include "Diddy Wah Diddy", "Pretty Thing" and "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover" for BO DIDDLEY, as well as "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "Back Door Man" and "Spoonful", for Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Alex is doing his part to continue the legacy of the Dixon family and to ensure that the world will know about the history of the blues.
Further info about the new Blues Experience with Cash McCall CD, plus audio samples and videos etc are currently available by visiting the Dixon Landing Music/Cash McCall official and MySpace websites listed below.
Dixon Landing Music website: http://www.dixonlandingmusic.com/
Blues Experience MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dixonlandingmusic2
Cash McCall MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cashmccallblues
Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation website: http://www.bluesheaven.com/
- http://www.rockabillyhall.com/heybo.html


Carrying on the legacy of veteran bluesman Willie Dixon, his grandson features veteran blues singer and guitarist Cash McCall on this program of eleven songs, including classic numbers by Dixon, one by McCall and several new ones by pianist Alex Dixon, 32, grandson of the legendary Chicago bluesman. Taught by and raised by his grandfather, the pianist knows how to put together a standout blues band and how to write songs that flow from that remarkable era when Muddy Waters was king bee and Willie Dixon was recognized all over the world for his upright bass presence and his down-home blues charm.

McCall, 66, joins pianist Alex Dixon, harpist Steve Bell, guitarist Bill "Young Blood" Learned, bassist Brady Wills, drummer Vinnie Threats and several others on this tour of classic Chicago blues. He recorded for Chess Records in the 1960s and worked with the elder Dixon frequently. Thus, the memories linger on. His "Mama" features lyrics that cover a wide range of feelings that lay the foundation for paying tribute. He sings the elder Dixon's "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "I'm Ready" and "Bring It On Home" with the true spirit of one who's been there.

Alex Dixon's songs, although interpreted by McCall and the band in a classic Chicago Blues hue, bring new revelations to the scene. He honors the fathers of the blues while recasting the timeless essence in concrete terms. Through his Blues Experience, his grandfather's contributions continue to grow for generations of blues lovers around the world. - Jim Santella


1.10.08
A new CD in an old tradition
Regular BlueNotes readers probably know that I have a big soft spot for classic Chicago blues. It owns legendary status as a genre, and I often use it as a standard to measure the music of newcomers. And besides, that unique small-band blend of guitars, harps, pianos, drums and vocals just sounds so damn good.

Among the most classic of the classic Chicago bluesmakers was singer, songwriter, producer and upright bassmaster Willie Dixon. Among the many people Willie shared his gifts with was his grandson Alex, who he tutored on the piano, and no doubt on many other fine points of the music that Willie helped make part of the culture.

This a typically long-winded BlueNotes way of saying that I have a new CD that revisits this great music. It features Alex Dixon, and Cash McCall (not the James Garner movie, or the country singer), primarily a fine Chicago session musician that you may not have heard much about.

McCall, who was born in Mississippi in 1941 under the good sign of Morris Dollison Jr., worked as a session guitarist for many Chicago greats before he struck out on his own, recording here and there through the '70s, '80s and '90s.

Now he's back again with "The Vintage Room" (Dixon Landing Music), with a crack band that includes Dixon on piano and young harpmaster Steve Bell, son of the late great harpmaster Carey Bell.

The CD revives some Willie Dixon classics -- "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "I'm Ready" and "Bring It On Home." The rest are by Alex Dixon, whose writing and production skill really make him sound like a chip off the Chicago block.

Vocally, the album belongs to McCall. His voice, all the way through, is vintage blues. He has the grit and delivers the groceries.

McCall does considerable justice to the Dixon chestnuts just mentioned, and brings the same considerable classic feel to the originals.

Among those originals, one of my favorites is "Slice of that Pie," with a tasty Dixon piano intro, crusty vocals and a nachrul filling leaves you more than satisfied. And it's pretty much the same all the way through.

There's nothing heavy or even really new here, just plenty of bring-it-on-home music in one of the greatest traditions of American blues.

- BlueNotes


What a great way to start off the new year. After having our most successful and productive year ever at www.Mary4Music.com, and having reviewed and helped to promote forty five CD'S, it stands to reason that we should start off 2008 - our 10 year anniversary - with something special and exciting, like working with the kin of Blues Royalty. I'm talking about ALEX DIXON, the grand son of WILLIE DIXON, the late blues legend who had no problem telling the world "I am the blues".

On their debut CD, "THE VINTAGE ROOM", members of THE BLUES EXPERIENCE include: CASH MC CALL - with well over 30 years experience, much of it with WILLIE, on vocals and guitar; ALEX DIXON on piano; STEVE BELL - son of another late legend, CAREY BELL, on harp; BILL "YOUNG BLOOD" LEARNED and KATY J on rhythm guitars; BRADY WILLIS on bass; VINNIE THREATS on drums; JOHN RISTROM on guitar; DYLAN COOPER on upright bass.

On "THE VINTAGE ROOM", listeners shouldn't expect to experience any attempts to reinvent the blues, any attempts to reinterpret the blues or any attempts to redefine the blues....and thank God for that. What you can expect is a sincere and very successful attempt to carry on the tradition of the blues in the way that WILLIE DIXON, and many of his legendary associates, meant it to be.

"THE VINTAGE ROOM" offers eleven tracks of which ten are DIXON penned - seven by ALEX and three by WILLIE. The opening track of "HELLUVA TIME" is an ALEX original that is very reminiscent of "WANG DANG DOODLE". It's an invitation, by name, to many past and present blues legends, to come to a party where instead of "wang-dang-doodling, they'll be having a "hell-uva-time". CASH is stellar on vocals and STEVE is very impressive on harp. Good opening track.

Classic WILLIE D is up next. THE BLUES EXPERIENCE did such an admirable rendition of "I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU", I'm thinking the originator of this one would feel proud of these guys.

Maybe it's just me, but another track reminding me of something gramps did is "SLICE OF THAT PIE". I could swear I hear some of "SPOONFUL" in here somewhere. This track is the first to give you a good taste of ALEX on piano. Great rhythm by BRADY and VINNIE, and more hot harp by STEVE also highlight this one.

"MAKE A FOOL OF ME" is one of several smokers on the disc. STEVE leads the jam on this one with ALEX, BRADY and VINNIE once again unrelenting on rhythm. Of course, CASH gets his licks in as well.

What kind of a tribute to WILLIE DIXON, which indeed this disc is, would it be without "I'M READY"? Well, the THE BLUES EXPERIENCE certainly agree and they certainly were ready to hit this one. The track is very short but oh so well done. CAREY - who obviously was a strong influence on his son - would be real proud of STEVE BELL on this one.

Other tracks on "THE VINTAGE ROOM " include: "GYPSY WOMAN", "CATCH ME BEFORE YOU GO", "MAMA", "BRING IT ON HOME" and a vocal and instrumental version of "ONE TOUCH".

If you're a fan of WILLIE DIXON, you'll want to grab a copy of "THE VINTAGE ROOM". Additionally, you'll want to keep your eyes and ears open for future work, be it performing or producing, by ALEX DIXON. The whole purpose of him and his wife MELISSA, forming DIXON LANDING MUSIC is to "reach out to the little known or undisclosed musician/artist and to bring back the Chicago Blues feel that his grandfather helped create". AMEN! It doesn't need to be reinvented, reinterpreted or redefined......it just needs to be kept alive.

To learn more about THE BLUES EXPERIENCE, and the company's mission in general, shuffle on over to www.dixonlandingmusic.com and tell them you came to see what the Blewzzman's fussin' about.
- Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com


Cash McCall review....
Written by Don Crow
Thursday, 10 January 2008
THE VINTAGE ROOM

THE BLUES EXPERIENCE

with CASH MCCALL

DIXON LANDING MUSIC

HELLUVA TIME--I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU--SLICE OF THAT PIE--MAKE A FOOL OF ME--GYPSY WOMAN--I'M READY--CATCH ME BEFORE I GO--MAMA--BRING IT ON HOME--ONE TOUCH--ONE TOUCH (INST.)



With the release of "The Vintage Room," Alex Dixon carries on the legacy of his legendary grandfather, Willie Dixon. Perhaps the ultimate post-WWII blues songwriter, Willie also knew how to get the most out of the artists performing his songs. Alex uses that same savvy in producing this set, and also had the good fortune of working with Cash McCall, who'd mentored under the elder Dixon back in the Chess days. Cash was already a solid vocalist and guitarist, and was a burgeoning songwriter whose relationship with Willie led to a Grammy in 1988 for the "Hidden Charms" album. This collaboration between Cash and Alex was pretty much a "natural," and "The Vintage Room" brings together originals from both men, as well as a few covers of grandad's stuff. Alex plays piano throughout, and harp duties are ably handled by Steve Bell, son of the mighty Carey Bell.

This set recaptures the spirit of those legendary Chess sessions. Cash really lets loose on the rocking "Catch Me Before I Go," then slows things down with one of his own compositions, the lilting ballad that serves as an ode to his "Mama." It is presented here in acoustic form, with stand-up bass from Dylan Cooper. Steve Bell's harp kicks off the tale of a low-down woman trying to "Make A Fool Of Me," while the stop-time of "Gypsy Woman comin' to tell your future" is guaranteed to get your mojo workin!!"

We had two favorites, too. The first, kicked off by Alex's rolling piano intro, tells us just to what lengths some folks will go to just to get "A Slice Of That Pie!" And, a man bragging to his lady that he's "got what it takes" apparently only needs "One Touch" to prove himself!!

As the leadoff cut states, whenever you listen to "The Vintage Room," you are guaranteed to have "A Helluva Time!" This is another set that is definitely...keeping the faith!! Don and Sheryl Crow.

- Don Crow


Discography

CASH McCALL (partial discography):

1976 – Natalie (Natalie Cole); Electric Guitar
1983 – No More Doggin’ (Cash McCall); Vocals, Guitar
1987 – Cash Up Front (Cash McCall); Vocals, Guitar
1988 – Hidden Charms (Willie Dixon, Grammy Award Winning Album); Guitar
1993 – Essential Etta James (Etta James); Guitar
1995 – Original Wang Dang Doodle (Willie Dixon); Guitar
1997 – Little Milton Greatest Hits (Chess 50th Anniversary); Guitar
2004 – Chicago Soul (Various Artists); Vocals, Arrangement
2007 – The Vintage Room (Alex Dixon); Vocals, Guitar

ALEX DIXON:

1988 – Hidden Charms – Co-wrote and produced Study War No More (Willie Dixon Grammy Award winning album)
2007 – The Vintage Room – wrote, arranged and produced all songs, with the exception of the Willie Dixon classics and Mama (written by Morris Dollison) in which he arranged and produced only

Photos

Bio

CHICAGO BLUES LEGEND CASH McCALL:

Chicago Blues legend Cash McCall has segued from gospel to soul to blues over a distinguished career spanning more than three decades. By age 20, he was working as a songwriter for Chess Recording Company in Chicago, writing for such artists as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Johnny Taylor and Little Milton. His list of published songs number over 360. As a guitarist, he developed a style and stage presence he best put to use with his long time friend Minnie Ripperton, as well as with Natalie Cole, Etta James, Willie Dixon, The Temptations, The Drifters, The Coasters and Rotary Connection.

McCall was a valuable session guitarist and composer at Chess, learning the business end of his trade from Chess in-house legend Willie Dixon. McCall's blues learnings grew more prominent during the next decade. He cut an LP for Paula in 1973 called Omega Man before relocating to L.A. in 1976. In 1983 McCall released his first solo record in ten years, No More Doggin', and followed it up with Cash Up Front in 1987. McCall's ties to Willie Dixon remained strong; he co-produced Dixon's Grammy-winning Hidden Charms in 1988 and worked as a sideman with Dixon's band, the Chicago All-Stars. McCall has since toured frequently as a solo blues artist and has often appeared on stage with the Chicago Rythym and Blues Kings (who were formerly known as the Mellow Fellows), backed singer Big Twist, and performed in the Chicago Blues Review.

Brilliant, magical, unbelievable, rockin' and old school are all adjectives used to describe the long overdue release by Chicago Blues Legend Cash McCall, with his CD titled The Vintage Room. Legendary Bluesman Willie Dixon would be proud to know that his grandson, Alex Dixon, has produced a CD that would rival a blues best during the Chess Records era. With its big bluesy sound and authentic style of music you can get your teeth into, the tunes in The Vintage Room are sure to put you back into the heyday of the Chicago Blues.
With piano licks that capture the spirit of Little Brother Montgomery (the main influence in Willie Dixon's career), timeless guitar licks that cut right to your soul, and a true Chicago Blues harmonica sound that is reminiscent of the greats, The Vintage Room has all the qualities of a classic blues CD.

In other words, The Vintage Room will have you rockin' in your seat, stomping your feet, clapping your hands and laying to rest the myth that all blues music is sad! But on another note, if you are having a bad day, listening to these tunes will definitely lift your spirits! The band itself would be nothing without the supporting role of Steve Bell, a phenomenal harmonica player who is the son of the late Carey Bell Harrington. Additionally, guitarist Bill “Young Blood” Learned, guitarist Katy J, bassist Brady Wills and drummer Vinnie Threats help to form that authentic Chicago Blues sound!

It has been 20 years since his last album, and Chicago Legend Cash McCall was hand picked by Alex Dixon to come back strong with The Vintage Room. Cash's raspy vocals and amazing guitar solos capture a sound unlike many today. Alex Dixon has blurred the lines between his and his grandfather's writing style, making people often ask the question "Who wrote that song?" If you are a fan of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.....you will soon be a fan of Chicago Legend Cash McCall!

VENUES IN WHICH CHICAGO LEGEND CASH McCALL HAS PLAYED (partial list):

Canadian Clubs and Blues Festivals
Vancouver, BC @ Yale Hotes
Toronto, Ontario @ Albert’s Hall
Hollywood, CA @ Club Lingerie
Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint
Long Beach, CA @ The Long Beach Blues Festival
Topanga, CA @ The Topanga Blues Festival
Universal City, CA @ B.B. King’s Club
Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Paladium
Denver, CO @ Brendan’s
Seattle, WA @ New Orleans Jazz Club
Grand Rapids, MI @ The Orbit Room
Hastings, MI @ West Michigan’s Best Blues Fest
Memphis, TN @ Kings Palace
Memphis, TN @ Rum Boogie Cafe
Boise, ID @ Basque Center
Angola, IN @ Skips Lounge
Indianapolis, IN @ Barrel House Blues
Anchorage, AK @ Fly By Night
Duluth, MN @ Bayfront Blues Festival
Milwaukee, WI @ Sherman Fest
Chicago, IL @ Buddy Guy’s Legends
Chicago, IL @ Chicago Blues Festival
Chicago, IL @ Kingston Mines
Delray Beach, FL @ The Backroom
Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Blues Festival
Paris, France @ The Nancy Jazz Festival
Paris, France @ The Hotel Meridien
Switzerland @ The Montreaux Jazz Festival
Holland @ The North Sea Jazz Festival
London, England @ Dingwall’s
Burnley, England @ Burnley Blues Festival
Sportterein, Deusterstraat @ Belgium Rhythm ‘N Blues Festival
Germany @ Various Clubs and Festivals
Italy @ Various Clubs and Festivals
China @ Various Clubs and Festivals
Korea @ Various Clubs and Festivals
Japan @ Various Clubs and Festivals

ALEX DIXON, GRANDSON OF LEGENDARY WILLIE DIXON:

Alex Dixon was born in 1975 in Chicago's South Side. He