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Dixie Dregs

One of the top jazz-rock fusion ensembles ever, the Dixie Dregs combined virtuoso technique with eclecticism and a sense of humor and spirit too frequently lacking in similar projects. Guitarist Steve Morse and bassist Andy West played together as high-school students in Augusta, GA, in a conventional rock band called Dixie Grit. When Morse was expelled from school for refusing to cut his hair, he enrolled at the University of Miami School of Music, where he met violinist Allen Sloan, who had played with the Miami Philharmonic, and drummer Rod Morgenstein. The three decided to form a band, and Morse convinced West to come to Miami and join. The Dixie Dregs completed their lineup with keyboardist Steve Davidowski. Their first album, The Great Spectacular, was recorded for a class project in 1975 and later released by the band (it is long out of print). Following graduation, the quintet began playing live around the South and got its break after opening for Sea Level on 1976, when a representative from Capricorn Records was impressed enough to sign the band. Mark Parrish, a former member of Dixie Grit, replaced Davidowski for their official debut, 1977's Free Fall.

Their follow-up, What If, proved to be one of their most artistically successful albums, and the Dixie Dregs played at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival with T Lavitz replacing Parrish. Half of Night of the Living Dregs contains excerpts from that concert. The group shortened its name to the Dregs for 1981's Unsung Heroes, and added both vocalists and three-time national fiddling champ Mark O'Connor, whose old-timey playing style added another dimension to the group's sound, for Industry Standard. The Dregs then disbanded; the highly respected Morse formed his own band and recorded several albums, later joining Kansas from 1986 to 1988, while Morgenstein hooked up with pop-metallists Winger.

The Dregs reunited briefly in 1988 for a series of live dates, but a full-fledged reunion didn't take place until 1992, with Morse, Lavitz, Morgenstein, and Dave LaRue of the Steve Morse Band in West's place. Allen Sloan rejoined only briefly, with his position then filled by ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra member Jerry Goodman. Bring 'Em Back Alive was culled from the group's tour, and 1994's Full Circle was also well received. California Screamin' followed in early 2000. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Saw the dregs play many times in Athens and Atlanta in mid to late 70's. Truly unique and unbelievable musicians particularly since no vocals.
lapper737
The Rose Room at Rutgers University, early 80's. Only 300 seats. Best band I've ever seen live, (and I've seen some awesome bands.)
zerotron2
Wow, why are all the good bands either from the early 80s or obscure? These guys are great. Literally some of the best stuff I've ever heard in my life.
Saw them a few times in the 80's at a club called The Chance in Poughkeepsie NY. good times
Dregs of the Earth Tour, San Francisco. Fake ID in hand, I got past the doorman, sat at a little table with a couple buddies. Steve and the boys then proceeded to SCHOOL us little hotshots on how it's done.
I'll never forget that night. Humbled and amazed - It encouraged me to work hard as a player.
tembuck2
Do You Remember the Purple Onion, Augusta GA, 1970
I saw Steve open for RUSH, long about the time if the first Steve Morse band album.Yeah, I said album! Ha!!
david.rodger s 0
How long did Jerry Peak (bass) and Doug Morgan (drums) play with Steve?
True story. After a Dregs gig is St Pete Fla several yrs ago, a bunch of us guitar heads were chatting up Steve after the show and a cute gal busts thru our chat circle and smiles at Steve and hands him a film vial. Steve opens it, frowns and sets it down on a bench by him. Knowing Steve is as straight as an arrow, I told him I'd get rid of it - as I snatched it up. A nice almost 1/8 bud of hydroponic ;) My good deed for the day. Great show too, of course!
I saw these guys at Georgia Tech ('78 or '79) with Eric Johnson as opener. Un-freakin'- b e l i e v e a b l e !
chilehed
I saw them in Miami at a free concert, outdoors at FIU around '79 or '80. It was an absolutely mind-bending l y smokin' set.
I saw them in San Antonio in 1982, the Industry Standard tour in a Small saloon. Mark O'Connor was in the band, I didn't know who he was until a couple of years later when I started getting into bluegrass. One of the most phenomenal shows I've ever seen in my life.
kathrynj9
Saw the Dreggs back in 92 or 93 in Pittsburg, PA. they kicked butt
Never saw 'em live. listened to everything I can find tho... I try really hard to emulate Steve's licks, but that just gives me reason to get get up tomorrow, so maybe then I'll be able to achieve a small fraction of some of the placement, phrasing and chops of my number one favorite guitar master..
Saw them for the first time in 1975 in a small renovated theater in Tulsa, and sat with my mouth open for 2 hours plus. Been a fan ever since, as well as a better guitarist for it. Last time I saw Steve was in the Rymen here in Nashville at Muriel Andersons All Star Guitar Night. Met him after the show and found out that he's a nice and friendly as everone said.
tombenvenuto
I was fifteen and worked as a gopher for a sound company in Virginia. This is when knowone knew them. I was an instant fan. They were the nicest guys and so talented.
i became related to andy west by marriage. i had opportunitie s to meet them all, and i was never not impressed. their musical abilities as shown by their orchestral training is evident in every cut. they still get my blood rocking.
Met The Dregs after a concert in R.I. in the 80's . They luaghed when I refered to Andy as Mr West.. Some of the greatest musicians I've heard.
My Fathers Place, Long Island Late 70's early 80's...bring s back awesome memories. What an awesome group live.
drummersteve 8
Watched a then Dixie Dregs concert in Miami, FL.. in 1979. Out door fest. sat right behind Rod. I was 17 now turning 50! STILL PLAYING PERCUSSION . GR8 MUSICIANS ALL!!!!
cl2006
Saw them during the Jerry Goodman era. Highlight was shaking Steve's hand after the show.
Dregs of the earth is the best Dregs album . Check out the tune called I'm freaking out . A true masterpiece! ! !
The Dregs changed the lives of some of the best skateboarder s and surfers of all time........ . . . . . . . . . . . . E v e n had a skateboard company named after them !
RIP T Lavitz (p.s. rod,steve,t lavitz,dave la rue and some steve morse band mates (von romaine) were always super nice after the shows I talked to Rod and T Lavitz and Steve quite a bit after shows in SE thru the yrs of 88-2003 (Tallahassee . F l and Atlanta) and they were really super cool and sincere
Rod is in my top 3-4 drum mentors and I believe still teaches at Berkely
I saw the Dixie Dreggs in Seattle in 1979, and it was one of the very best performances of anyone that I've ever seen or heard. Totally electrifying . . .
Odyssey, one song that will live forever...
The Dregs and Allan Holdsworth at the Country Club in Reseda. Now that was a guitarist's wet dream of a show!
jay.rccs
I heard What If first at a 38 Special concert. The sound guy was playing it before the concert started, and I just had to find out who it was. I've been a fan ever since. I think I've seen Steve Morse 7 times over the years -- always great. On a side note, why is every bio 10 years out of date?
Used to play the Dregs all the time when I was a DJ at Penn State on a jazz fusion show in the 80s. I haven't listened to them in years, but just added them to my mix on Pandora and was reminded how amazing they are. (I once saw Steve Morse play with Kansas...did n ' t seem quite right for him. He even played violin on Dust in the Wind!)
Okay... so I haven't been a fan since the beggining... BUT these guys are timeless. I got into them because Dream Theater covered "Cruise Control" After that I got the original and was overjoyed when I found a few of their albums on vinyl at my local record shop! Been a fan ever since!
serigor10
Great musicians, great music,full of improvisatio n , master peace of each note, I love their music.They ones of the best musicians with tons of the great music!!!
rollydreher
Been a huge fan of Steve Morse since I saw the Dregs open for the Doobies more years ago than I care to admit. When you get to my age you're happy to still have hair and to be able to go to the bathroom after you get out of bed. No matter how old you get you still have to love great guitarists like Steve.
edi20
I've been a fan since 1975, since my fraternity brother (who was a business manager for them the year before, as I recall) introduced me to their music. I had the pleasure of delivering one of their first demo tapes to WRAS student radio at Georgia State so they could play it on the "local artists" show. Don't know if it helped them, but it was the least I could do for what became my favorite group of all time.
deoproductio n s
I've been a Dixie Dregg fan since the beginning. They are one of the best bands to see live and make you raise your bar higher. Thanks for the inspiration guys!
14739578
Steve Mores five times name all around Guitar player by Guitar player Mag........ saw him live playing in DEEP PURPLE he did every one of Blackmores licks with out a hitch
never heard these guys but wow amazing you here em kinda weird at firstthen they're like wow!!!!!!!!! ! ! !
Never tire of the Dregs. Saw them open in 81 for the Barrere/ Clayton band made of 4 ex members of Little Feat. Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton, Richie Hayward (RIP), Kenny Gradney, Already knew the music and was blown away. Lucky enough to see them again with Goodman.
After the 81 show many of the Dregs can be heard on Paul Barrere solo recordings.
Man
Timeless music, and what can you say about Mr. Morse that hasn't already been said?
gmurray51
I was lucky enough to see the Dregs several times in Northern CA - once at a hole in the wall dinner place where everyone sat at picnic tables that were right against the stage - the guys used our tables as an extension of the stage and danced right out into the audience - BRILLIANT!! The tightest live band ever..
once again music that at this point is 32yrs old and is still as fresh as it was the day i opened up the 8 track packaging and put in my player - popular music has lost so much in the last 20 yrs - i hope someone will come along and turn that around.
In case you all hadn't heard, I'm sad to report that T Lavitz recently passed away. WAY too young. I saw him perform many times with the Dregs. A fantastic band live, probably the best I have ever seen. T will be missed.
Brings back memories. Saw them back in the early 80's in St. Louis (Washington University). Tight band and fun to listen to.
Its so good to hear the dixie dregs - I remember hearing- what if- when i was about 16 years old, it was such a wonderful record to listen to and explore - the dregs are one of the best instrumental rock bands to come out of the 70s - I saw steve morse and allan sloan open up for pat metheny in 1978 in atlanta - they played an all classical set -it was brilliant - and than i became a devoted dregs fan from that point on - you cannot go wrong with steve morse and the dixie dregs.
I saw the Dregs in '04 at BB King's place in Manhattan. I never heard of them before then. I went on a recommendati o n from a good friend. I went in not knowing what to expect. Needless to say i was blown away and have been a fan ever since.
Steve Morse still tours occasionally , especially in Florida. He will blow you away live!
logbuilder45
When you combine the masters of each instrument the results are The Dregs! Had the honor of opening for them several times in the mid 70's at Rose's Cantina, The Peanut Palace, Warm Springs GA, and the Agora Ballroom while playing in a band named The Cleavers.
PB Scotts..... boy, does that bring back memories!!! the ones I can remember, that is!!
I saw the dregs of the earth tour in south fl . Life altering!!
I was fortunate enough to see the dregs play live a few times in the late '70s at the College of Charleston. My favorite album is Dregs of the Earth
one band i wish i saw and i seen lots but not the dregmaster generals. wellmont in montclair nj are you listening ?
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