The Dixie Dregs: Steve Morse (guitar, banjo, guitar synthesizer); Allen Sloan (electric violin, viola, strings); Steve Davidowski (keyboards, synthesizer); Andy West (bass); Rod Morgenstein (drums, percussion).
Originally released on Capricorn (189).
All tracks have been digitally remastered from the original master tapes.
Georgia's Dixie Dregs were one of the most popular fusion bands of the mid-'70s. By the time of this 1977 debut, fusion had become a distinct genre apart from the jazz-rock that preceded it. On the surface, it may seem like hairsplitting, but fusion differs from jazz-rock in that it is really neither jazz nor rock, but its own unique paradigm with its own rules and trademarks. The Dregs were one of the first American bands to make that distinction, and certainly one of the few to do it with such prowess and individuality. The most unique aspect of the Dregs' sound, however, is the down-home country flavor that's added to the complex rhythmic and harmonic melee.
On such classic tunes as "Refried Funky Chicken," the band's Georgia roots are apparent, adding an earthy whimsy to a style that's often seen as too high-minded. The interactions among electric violinist Allen Sloan, guitarist and main (at this early juncture, sole) composer Steve Morse, and keyboardist Steve Davidowski (the famed T Lavitz had not yet arrived) are full of fire and ingenuity. While the Dregs' later albums may be more sophisticated, FREE FALL has an energetic freshness that can't be denied.