Montreal-based blues rocker Dwane Dixon calls his style ‘rocking roadhouse blues’ in the manner of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Billy Gibbons. The idea for his third album came from a story he heard about his father. It turns out he didn’t know that his father was quite the gambler and Betting on a Gambling Man was born. As he wrote more of the songs, he decided they were so personal he would record all the instruments himself – he normally performs as a power trio. That title song opens the program and the line actually comes from his mother. She says: “Son, you’ll never win by betting on a gambling man.” Needless to say, Dad was not a very successful gambler, but it did lead to a very good song done in rockabilly style – a fine opener. His rocking roadhouse blues style is up next with “World of Hurt” and the much faster “Swallow That Pill”. The latter seems to have been triggered by a visit to his doctor, whose ‘a pill for everything’ approach Dixon strenuously rejects. He goes acoustic for some of the songs and “Buried Your Bones” is a rather tuneful but dour country-ish song about a murder suicide in a small town, he even gives himself a harmonica solo. In the same vein but with just his acoustic guitar, Dixon sings in “Small Town Talking Blues” that his exploits have become so talked about that he’d best be leaving. Back to electric and back to rockabilly for “Wanna Be Your Man” which is little more than a nice groove. More substantial, and louder, is a story of women troubles he calls “Whiskey You Don’t Lie”. 

Some fine songs then, well-sung but as a multi-instrumentalist, I suspect that some of these songs will sound much better when played with his regular rhythm section which his web site, wwwdwanedixon.com, says is happening quite a lot but only in Quebec.

Blues Revival #9 Featuring Jesse Whiteley
February 2020 - Jimmy & The Sleepers