Out Standing In Their Field
(Eagle Records)


Back in the late ‘70s guitarist Steve Morse burst on the scene with his group The Dixie Dregs. Arriving as they did on the Atlanta based Capricorn Records, Dixie Dregs were among the first jazz-rock based groups to emerge from the Southern US. While fusion cats like Pat Metheny was cosying up to the ECM crowd, Morse was setting new standards in the instro rock world with some great albums, especially, from my perspective at least, 1980's Dregs Of The Earth, featuring the favorite “Twiggs Approved,” recorded as a tribute to the late Dixie Dregs cohort, Twiggs Lyndon. Eric Paulos and I had a great interview with Steve Morse back in 2004 that I wrote and produced for 20th Century Guitar mag and I’ve been thinking about featuring the entire original length interview of which I only used about half for the mag. Keep an eye out for that. Anytime Morse picks up his guitar to record is a cause for celebration which is exactly how Steve’s disciples will feel after they hear the 2009 Eagle Records release of Out Standing In Their Field. Outstanding can only mean one thing and this CD is an outstanding and fully modern fusion outing that has one ear in the past and one in the future. Backing up Morse are his gifted accomplices, drummer Van Romaine and Dave LaRue on bass. There are plenty of rocking guitar instrumentals throughout the eleven cut CD while melodic, jazzier yet progressive based tracks such as “Here And Now And Then” harken back to the best of that classic melodic edge of the original Dixie Dregs. Very interesting to see Eagle Rock Records stretch out with this new studio album of modern guitar fusion that really resounds with musical passion. /


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