By Connor Beach
For the first time in over 40 years the original members of the instrumental progressive rock band The Dixie Dregs will be performing live together.
The Dawn of the Dregs reunion tour featuring guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Andy West, drummer Rod Morgenstein, violinist Allen Sloan and keyboardist Steve Davidowski will stop at The Paramount next week.
West said the idea behind the reunion tour was hatched through an email chain between the five former bandmates in 2017.
“Forty years removed from the release of our first commercial album, and it turns out that all the guys are still around and playing music,” West said.
West said Morse suggested that the five musicians get together
to play, and the idea eventually evolved into a 34-show tour that started on Feb. 28 and runs until April 28.
In preparation for the tour The Dixie Dregs had to dust off their old music and relearn many of their older songs. While some of the old music came back naturally, West said other songs needed to be rehearsed starting in June of last year.
“A lot of these songs we played so much that they’re kind of there, so we can relearn them real quick,” West said. “On the other hand, it was like, “Wow what did I play there? How did that go?’”
The set lists for the reunion tour shows will favor songs from the Dixie Dregs’ 1977 album, “Free Fall,” West said, but will also include songs from the band’s entire catalog.
“We all had favorites, and we all had songs that we said we wanted to do,” West said.
The original Dixie Dregs played their first show of the reunion tour together last week in front of a sold out crowd in Clearwater, Florida, and West said the energy in the venue was electric.
“Naturally there’s a little bit of shakiness on the first night, but overall the energy was so high and so good,” West said. “The crowd was just right there with us.”
The live crowd was made up of fans that remembered The Dixie Dregs from the late ’70s, as well as younger fans that have discovered the band’s music more recently.
West said that after their show last week, an excited young guitar player came up to the band to say how excited he was to see The Dixie Dregs live.
West, 65, said the reunion has been a positive experience for the band, and that all its members are “up for the tour.”
He said, “We made a conscious effort to book small to medium sized halls where we could really have a comfortable environment… We want people to come in and just really commune with the music.”
The Dixie Dregs will take the stage at The Paramount in Huntington on Thursday, March 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $25-$75 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.