12 September 2023
Brooks Dixon has a song for every occasion. In his various personas, he can accommodate most any mood or situation. In wedding band mode, he can cover five decades of musical nostalgia in song. And if he doesn't know the one you want for your “I do” day, he'll learn it for you. Stepping into his singer/songwriter suit, Dixon serenades a loyal Americana fan base with his country-tinged offerings. On his latest release, Rhododendron Highway, Dixon serves up a diverse platter of folky/country entrees.
“Charleston” channels Willie and the family band with Mickey Rapheal style harp and a gospel piano
reminiscent of sister Bobbie. “Strangers Bed” sounds like John Prine trying to decide if his backing band should be a bluegrass group with a mandolin tinkling softly in the background or a window- rattling honky-tonk outfit fortified by weepy pedal steel, deciding about halfway thorough the cut to go full out honky-tonkin,' whipping himself into a sweaty lather before reigning it in to go back to a folky/bluegrass fusion finish..
“Would You Say Yes” sounds like something that Dixon would offer wedding clients at a rehearsal
dinner to warm up the crowd for the upcoming nuptials, a soft ballad that kinda takes the long way around
into the whole popping the question thing: “Would you say yes if I gave you this ring?”
“Rolling Stone” is not the Muddy vehicle, but a ride in the country emphasizing the values of a stay at
home romance. Dixon insists that he's not a rolling stone, “ Not even close/When life gets hard/ I find my
peace at home.”
“Married in the Mountains” is the closest Dixon gets to incorporating the album's title in this offering
which has a Jacob Dylan Wallflowers feel and could be yet another crossover vehicle suitable for his
wedding biz or his serenading side. Dixon's pitch is to get married in the mountains in the Carolina spring,
walking along the rhododendron highway with his beloved by his side: “ Just us two/We don't need a
fancy wedding/Cause all I need is you.” Dixon's got all the bases covered here, plenty of original tunes suitable for easy listening or doing
something permanent about your romantic situation.
Grant Britt (