Column from November 29th, 1999 issue

The Dixie Dregs will have their CD "California Screaming" available January 18th next year. It's a new live album and will come out through the Zebra label (which also handled the newest album from fellow fusion outfit Tribal Tech earlier this year). Recordings took place earlier this year at the Roxy in Los Angeles and were a full-blown reunion with members of the band's different incarnations present. Featured are Steve Morse on guitar (obviously), both Dave LaRue and Andy West on bass, drummer Rod Morgenstein, T. Lavitz on keyboard, plus both the band's violinists: Allen Sloan and Jerry Goodman. As well as Dregs' favourities they also performed "Jessica" by the Allman Brothers, an arrangement of "Dixie", and also Frank Zappa's "Peaches en Regalia" where, fittingly enough they're joined by Dweezil Zappa on second guitar. So as not to overlap with their earlier live output, they've chosen to select only Dregs' songs that did not feature on their other live recordings. What's more if you pre-order a copy from Zebra Records before the end of this month, if you're so inclined, you have your name added to the new CD's special thanks list in the booklet. Jump to or for more details.

Couple of recent releases have irritated me this week. 38 Special's "Live at Sturgis" is one. It has to be one of the worst produced live albums I've ever heard, it just seems to lack everything I would expect to hear from that band live! Wonder if the DVD that's on the way (with different tracks from the CD issue) is going to be any improvement - somehow I doubt it. The other that's left me irritated this week is Jimmy Barnes new "Love and Hate" (or whatever the heck it's called!) which just came out in Australia. Barnes has always had a great voice, but on a few tracks on the new release he tracks to act all modern and, to be honest in a bad way, grungy! Yuk! Check out the first two and last tracks and you'll see what I mean - you'll have never come across something so hollow-sounding and downright ridiculous! And he's got a painfully trendy haircut as well - hasn't he forgotten his age, or is he really that desperate!