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.
The first single off of The Real McCoy is a tune from his grandfather that Alex has put his own spin on. We asked Alex about it and he had this to say:
“I chose to do "Spider In My Stew" because it was a song my grandfather wrote for Buster Benton, a great Chicago musician who was also in the Chicago Blues All-Stars. When I talked to Big Lew, I knew this song would be perfect for his powerful and distinct voice. You could tell he liked the song quite a bit because he sang his heart out. But I also wanted to add my own little twist by featuring Sugar Blue on harmonica and Rico McFarland on guitar, while me and drummer, Alvino Bennett, handled the rhythm section. I know if my grandfather and Buster Benton were here, they would both have smiles on their faces.”
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).
Alex Dixon says of the forthcoming album, “We were trying to go for authenticity, and I wanted to showcase some of the things that I learned from my grandfather and make the album I’ve always wanted to do.”
Follow the Alex Dixon’s “Vintage Dixon” project: