Song Premiere: Alex Dixon’s “Chi-Town Boogie”

Listen & Watch Song Premieres

Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Alex Dixon’s song “Chi-Town Boogie” from his forthcoming album The Real McCoy due March 24. All songs were produced, arranged and written by Alex Dixon and published by Dixon Landing Music, except “Chi-Town Boogie” which was written by Alex Dixon and Lewis Powell. “Chi-Town Boogie is Alex Dixon I’m uptight bass, piano and vocals; Lewis “Big Lew” Powell on vocals; Steve Bell on harmonica; Melvin Taylor on guitar; Gino Matteo on rhythm and slide guitar; and Rico McFarland on lead and rhythm guitars.

“Chi-Town Boogie” is a Chicago boogie style song that draws inspiration back from the days when Willie Dixon was in The Big Three Trio and Four Jumps of Jive, which was his jump blues era, pre-Chess days. Rico McFarland, on guitar, brings out the spirits of T-Bone Walker and Chuck Berry, whereas Alex handles the slap bass sound that only a Dixon could, being shown first-hand by Willie Dixon himself.

Along with the upright bass, Alex provided some Lafayette Leake style piano to tie everything in. The main ingredient of the song, which is unique but identifiable in its own right, is the distinct harmonica sound of Steve Bell, son of the late harmonica wizard, Cary Bell. To drive it home is Alvino Bennett on percussion, showing influences of S.P. Leary and Fred Below, along with Melvin Taylor on guitar. Gino Matteo lends rhythm guitar throughout the track. Background vocals are the trio of Alex Dixon, Lewis “Big Lew” Powell and Alvino Bennett. It brings you back to the golden era of Chicago Blues.

No self-respecting music lover is going to want to miss this one.

As a child, one of my grandfather’s best friends was Baby Doo Caston (Big Three Trio). I decided to create this song which was from that era, as an honor to how they started their career. To make it my own, I featured Steve Bell, who was a childhood friend of mine, and one of the best harmonica players I’ve heard, next to his father Cary. I brought in Rico to play guitar because I knew of him from (my uncle) Butch Dixon. I had so much fun playing a solo with Rico. I’m doing this solo, imitating one of my grandfather’s slap bass lines, kinda like the one he did on Johnny B. Goode, and Rico started doing some T-Bone Walker style guitar. And what you get is, well, you have to hear it for yourself. We started laughing in the studio. Melvin Taylor jumped right in, and then you have a rare drum solo from Alvino Bennett, followed by Steve. We had a lot of fun on this track, but at the end of the day, I wanted to feature Steve on harmonica. For God sakes, we called him “Little Walter” throughout the session. — Alex Dixon

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