Brooks Dixon

REVIEW: Brooks Dixon “Rhododendron Highway”


Brooks Dixon – Rhododendron Highway

Brooks Dixon’s new album Rhododendron Highway just released; it was produced by Will Gawley, Dewey Boyd and Brooks Dixon.  Mixing was courtesy of Bryce Roberts and Dewey Boyd; and it was mastered by Sam Moses.

Brooks makes thoughtful gritty songs that are comforting with a Texas twang that sometimes conjures tones of Willie Nelson.

“Charleston” addresses the need to trust your core instincts on whether and where to settle down, and the whimsy of considering that lightly.

“Stranger’s Bed” starts out with little chills of mandolin punctuation that sense of being adrift that can happen at times.  “I hope to see the sun and the moon in the month of June, feels like I’m walking in my sleep, I’ve got secrets I’d like to keep.” And then it turns into double time with a faster.  A neat song.

“Needles”  was written upon receiving an uninvited medical diagnosis, while Brooks was unwell and “needing to get right … I just need some time. I’ve seen a lot of evil but the devil ain’t no friend of mine.” Mandolin again accents the ennui in this one.   There aren’t many songs on just this topic, and it’s a good topic to venture into.

“Hey Hey” is groovy acoustic guitar work and an almost funky set up, but with sustained keys and acoustic guitar delivering the message – and the question why is everybody talking about the promised land?

“After All” is a meaningful song about the circles of life and the way we repeat things through the generations, “telling tales of heartache, storm clouds and airplanes.”

Find more details and information on his website here:

Musicians on the album are Brooks Dixon on guitar and vocals; David Flint on mandolin and guitars; Taylor McClesky on guitars and keys;  Nathan Angel and Chris Nole on keys; Shane Byler and Wayne Killius on drums; Dave Francis, Jake Watson and Ryan Youmans on bass; and Sara Middleton, Anna Stine and Libby Rhodenbough on vocals.

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