There’s the legend of musician Dale Nixon—largely reported as first adopted by Black Flag’s Greg Ginn as the bassist on certain releases, only to cover for the fact that Ginn himself was performing the tracks. And then later, Nixon resurfaced via Dave Grohl, who co-opted the moniker as his album credit during performances on Melvins’ solo releases. And Nixon’s been found as credited on a number of recordings since.
But let’s get this straight: Gabe Dixon’s no Dale Nixon. In fact, he’s about as far away from punk rock as one in contemporary music could get. And furthermore, Dixon’s a real musician (and not an alias), having racked over a half-million plays on MySpace, garnering television coverage on national programs (including CBS’s The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson), performing on Paul McCartney album sessions—and subsequently turning down the tour McCartney offered him!—the whole nine yards.
Likened to a mish-mash of singer-songwriters including Ben Folds 5, Elton John and Jackson Browne, Dixon’s chilled, soulful piano-based compositions on his recently-released, self-titled Fantasy Records disc find the former classical piano major at the University of Miami delivering straightforward, no-nonsense cuts, with a tender touch that doesn’t bore one’s brain into a batty oblivion. It’s decidedly retro, like dusting off a collection of LPs that were originally issued in ’75. Yet, it’s also current enough to find a home in the hearts of those who graduated from tacking Green Day posters on their bedroom walls some dozen years ago.
Though he’s a relatively fresh face to many, Dixon’s latest actually encapsulates a nine-year career that found him signing to Warner Bros., releasing a couple titles, jumping off the roster, and reconvening in the studio with his backing band of bassist Winston Harrison and drummer Jano Rix to record the self-titled effort as a live-tracked set over the course of just ten days.
Dixon may not be found subbing for Grohl and Ginn’s next sessions. But unlike “Nixon,” Dixon’s the real deal. (Waleed Rashidi)
The Gabe Dixon Band at the Glass House, 200 W. 2nd Street, Pomona, (909) 865-3802; Sun., Oct. 19. Doors at 7PM, $13