Dixie Peach review…February 13, 2014…

DIXIE PEACH

BLUES WITH FRIENDS

BIG SHEW RECORDS

TOO MUCH TROUBLE–PORK CHOP BLUES–NIGHT RIDE–COMING HOME TODAY–DON’T WANT TO WAIT–BOTTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC–TROUBLE WITH LOVE–IT’S CRYING TIME–WAIT A MINUTE–RICK’S SHUFFLE

Dixie Peach—Ira Stanley on guitar and vocals, Steve Williams on keys, Roscoe Rousculp on bass, Tony Paulus on guitar and keys, and Jerry Barnhart on drums—were there at the very beginning of the Southern rock movement, forming in 1972 and releasing one album before calling it quits in 1975.  However, a sound as good as theirs can’t be denied, and they reformed in 1998 with new drummer Steve Benson.

Ira’s slide and vocals are as sharp as ever, and the band has just released “Blues With Friends” on the Big Shew label.  The many friends that join the band on this set include Jack Pearson and Lee Roy Parnell on guitars, and Nashville stalwart Etta Britt on vocals on a few cuts.  The compilation of talent makes this set more than just a trip down memory lane for those of us old enough to remember the glory days of Southern rock, but, rather, turns it into a celebration of good ole boogie-infused blues.

Ira’s slide attack starts things off in the swampy, foreboding groove of “Too Much Trouble,” while a nod to the Allman Brothers lies hidden in the sounds of “Night Ride,” which features a fine solo from Jack Pearson, an ABB alumnus.

And, it wouldn’t be a true Southern rock album without some cool instrumental jams, and there are two tasty ones herein.  Ira’s acoustic opening of “Amazing Grace” gives way to blistering slide runs from both Jack Pearson and Lee Roy Parnell on the humorously-titled “Bottle Hymn Of The Republic,” while the set closes with the loping stride of “Rick’s Shuffle,” as Ira swaps licks with Lee Swisher.

We had two favorites, too.  There’s nothing meaner than a lover who “packs up and walks out,” but also takes my last “Pork Chop!”  This one is a real dance floor burner set over a rhum-boogie groove guaranteed to get you moving!  And, Etta Britt is one of our all-time favorite singers of any genre’, and she and Ira turn in a feisty, gospel-flavored duet in “I Don’t Want To Wait,” over Lee Roy’s testifyin’ slide.

Good music such as this is timeless and will never go out of style.  It’s good to see Ira Stanley and Dixie Peach back on the scene, and “Blues With Friends” will grab you right down to your soul!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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