The Gabe Dixon Band Biography
Gabe Dixon: lead vocals / keyboards
Winston Harrison: bass / vocals
Jano Rix: drums / vocals
Chandler Webber: sax / vocals
"We all come from such different musical backgrounds in this band. We're not from the same garage at all." - Chandler Webber, The Gabe Dixon Band
The range of inspirations for the stunning collection of songs on The Gabe Dixon Band's Reprise/Warner Bros. debut CD ON A ROLLING BALL includes Elton John, The Police, Beethoven, Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder amongst others; but the final results - which Billboard.com has called "real music by real people" - are uniquely their own.
Gabe Dixon, Winston Harrison, Jano Rix and Chandler Webber, all exceptional trained musicians in their early 20's, exhibit old souls through their melodic and textured songs. But make no mistake, when they get on stage, they absolutely rock and roll with the best of them.
Written primarily by the group's lead singer and keyboard player Gabe Dixon, the songs that comprise ON A ROLLING BALL are "mostly about relationships, past and present - those that I've experienced, those that I've witnessed, and some that have existed only in my head" stated Dixon. "There's a strange solitude that can be found in a crowd as an anonymous observer. Sometimes I'm sitting in a cafe and I just start writing - finding inspiration from the energy in the room." Eventually those ideas are married to the music; continues Dixon "I'm always hearing music in my head - hopefully I get it down on tape or on paper, but sometimes it just keeps floating around for months on end, until it finally clicks with a lyric or in a song."
The four band members met during their studies at the Music School at The University of Miami in 1999 where they soon became one of the most well loved bands on and off campus. Shortly after forming, the band came to the attention of famed recording engineer/producer Eddie Kramer (Hendrix, Zeppelin, Traffic, etc.) who was at the university to conduct an engineering clinic; says Winston "Eddie ran a competition where the winning band would get free production for one of their songs. The bad news was we finished second to a ska band since we didn't have a guitarist for him to use in his demonstration; the good news was that he became such a fan of ours that he ultimately flew back down to Miami, on his own dime, to produce an entire album for us." The result was the band's debut indie album More Than It Would Seem that they would sell at their shows throughout the South East.
While waiting for Gabe & Chandler to finish their last year of school, the band's elder statesmen, Winston & Jano, kept themselves busy with odd jobs (knife salesman/census bureau worker & dance recital accompanist respectively) until all decided to relocate to New York; says Jano "After graduation, the idea was to develop a touring base in the North East. Having so many colleges and clubs within such a small radius it seemed like the place to be." After everyone had moved to the city, the band chose Gabe & Winston's third floor loft as their rehearsal space; continues Jano "theirs was the only apartment with a freight elevator to get the gear in and out, plus their landlord (a switchblade wielding Hasidic known simply as "Big Bad Moses") kept an eye out for any unwelcome visitors. Of course, the elevator only worked once during the year we were there, so we got plenty of exercise carrying our equipment up and down."
It wasn't long after getting settled in their newly adopted home town that the band caught the attention of famed producer David Kahne (Fishbone, Sublime, Paul McCartney, etc.). Having heard the band's four song demo just the week before, Kahne made it out to their midnight show at Acme Underground and was so moved by their passionate playing that he not only signed them to Reprise the next day, he also produced their label debut album ON A ROLLING BALL shortly thereafter.
The members of The Gabe Dixon Band all traveled varied paths to meet at this unique musical crossroads. As a Nashville native, Gabe Dixon was greatly influenced by the heritage that surrounded him: "I was trained classically, but grew up listening to a lot of blues and country. Then, when I discovered Elton John, I wanted to be him - to the point where I got completely obsessed and started playing the piano non-stop." Dixon also had the unique opportunity to hone his performing skills with three very different artists, teen country band Six Shooter, blues-rock band Backwaters, and living-legend Paul McCartney (who after hearing The Gabe Dixon Band asked Gabe to play keyboards on the entire Driving Rain album): "I went from playing in front of screaming teens in high school gyms and at state fairs with Six Shooter, to jamming with Backwaters in smoky bars where I was the only one in the whole place too young to drink, to playing keyboards for Paul McCartney in front of a worldwide audience of millions at the 'Concert for New York' to raise funds for victims of the 9/11 attack."
Jano Rix (drums and vocals) hails from New York City where he was schooled by his father, himself an accomplished professional musician, from a very early age: "When I was two my dad cut some of his hardware down to size to make a little drumset for me. By the time I was 13 I had my first professional gig, subbing on drums in a metal band." Jano is also a very skilled pianist who, having studied classical and jazz piano from the age of six, eventually earned a full merit scholarship for his playing to the University of Miami.
Winston Harrison (bass and vocals) grew up in Louisville, Kentucky - a child of the region's bluegrass sounds and southern rock; he and Jano have been a team ever since they were university freshman, playing in numerous bands along the way, including their recent work with drum and bass artist Këvens.
Chandler Webber (saxophone and vocals) was raised in South Florida, honored while only a freshman as "Jazz Soloist of the Year" by Downbeat Magazine, and has been a featured soloist with artists as varied as The Temptations, The O'Jays, Rosemary Clooney, and the Cincinnati Pops.
The fruits of the collaboration that encompass The Gabe Dixon Band can be felt not only on the album, but also live. As Dixon puts it: "In the studio and on the stage, we try and capture a moment - we love to improvise, to challenge each other, to groove with each other, and to never play a song the same way twice." And while their performances on the album were done in one or two takes, their nightly 'takes' feed off of each new crowd, continues Dixon: "Performances are a two way street, and whatever energy an audience gives us, we try and return ten times over. We like the attitude of artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Coltrane - they just put out so much energy, were so inspired, always in the music, always sweating and putting everything they had into their playing at all times."
Since forming, the band have been touring around the country playing to an ever growing audience, determined to connect with people musically whenever and wherever they can. And if the fans and supporters they¹ve enlisted so far are any indication, they¹re on a roll for what promises to be a very bright future.
The Gabe Dixon Band will be touring this summer on the second stage of the Jeep World Outside Tour.
Please click here to submit the latest The Gabe Dixon Band biography
The following area is only for review,
Recommend the artist to your friends.