Bassist Alex Dixon, The Real McCoy
Extending a blues tradition that runs deep in his blood, Alex Dixon —producer, bassist, pianist, and grandson of the late master songwriter, producer, singer, and instrumentalist Willie Dixon —returns to the roots with his new album The Real McCoy, due from his label Dixon Landing Music in March 2020.
True to its title, The Real McCoy— which introduces lead vocalist Lewis “Big Lew” Powell— is a no-nonsense, straight-ahead Chicago blues opus featuring a lineup of second- and even third-generation blues talent. Steve Bell, son of the late harmonica wizard Carey Bell, is featured on harp, while Alex Dixon’s 13-year-old daughter Leila makes her vocal bow on the single.
The collection also features harp ace Sugar Blue, who famously collaborated with the Rolling Stones on “Miss You,” their No. 1 hit of 1978; veteran Chicago guitarist Melvin Taylor; and guitarist Joey Delgado, whose string busting has powered East Los Angeles’Delgado Brothers for more than three decades.
The Real McCoy comprises new original songs written or co-written by Alex Dixon, and four songs penned by Willie Dixon over the course of his storied career: “Groaning the Blues” (recorded by Otis Rush for Cobra Records in 1957); “Howlin’ for My Darlin’” (written with and cut by Howlin’ Wolf for Chess in 1959); “Spider in My Stew” (a hit for Buster Benton on Supreme Records in 1973); and “When I Make Love” (essayed by Margie Evans on Willie Dixon’s own Yambo Records in 1973).
Rounding out the players are Rico McFarland on lead and rhythm guitar (Lucky Peterson, Sugar Blue, Albert King) and Gino Matteo on rhythm and slide guitar. Alex teamed with engineer Aaron Mason to create the sound and Alvino Bennett associate produced and played percussion (Cash McCall, Mighty Joe Young, Koko Taylor) on the album.
Follow Alex Dixon’s “Vintage Dixon” project at vintagedixon.com