In late 2008 I stumbled across Gabe Dixon on YouTube. I rarely go to YouTube without a song/video in mind, but for some reason I was surfing the new releases: the still image from The Gabe Dixon Band’s “Till You’re Gone” video – a piano keyboard made out of people – caught my eye, and I was in love from the opening measure. I fell hard, for both that particular song and the entire album (called, simply, The Gabe Dixon Band). Old school, piano-based tunes, sometimes with a honky tonk edge, and Dixon can definitely sing, write, and play. I listened to that first album over and over and over (and over).
I was super excited about the second album, One Spark, which came out in 2011, but it sucked. Well, the songwriting was probably still objectively good, but it was electric-guitar based with nary a trace of piano on the whole album. It kind of sounded just like everything else, and I didn’t like it one bit. I was super disappointed, but I know that sometimes artists feel the need to completely change their sound, blah blah blah. (Unbeknownst to me, the band had broken up and this was Dixon’s first solo album, with a new label.) I stopped paying attention to Dixon, though I’ve continued to listen to that first album from time to time.
Yesterday, I found myself wondering what year that first album had been released. I went to Dixon’s website, and saw that he has a new single available: the artwork features a piano, which was promising, so I took a listen…and liked it. Upon trying to learn more, I discovered that he released another solo album in 2016 (Turns to Gold) – and he’s back to his piano-based roots! He even comments on the change:
I was relieved to see him acknowledge that One Spark was…not quite right. I’ve listened to the new album a couple of times since yesterday: while part of me misses the simplicity of The Gabe Dixon Band’s arrangements, I definitely like this effort. It has a bit more of a country tinge, which isn’t surprising given Dixon’s Nashville roots, but the style is familiar/recognizeable. I’m so tickled!
Any other Dixon fans here who took that same ride? Or has anyone taken a similar ride with another artist?