|FANTASY feat. Marcella Detroit|
|LOSE CONTROL feat. BB Chung King|
|PAINT YOU A PICTURE feat. Marcella Detroit|
|MY SUSPICIOUS MIND feat. BB Chung King|
|STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU feat. David Dills|
ALEX DIXON, Keyboard/Piano/Producer
Alex Dixon was born in 1975 on the South Side of Chicago. He was taught at a very early age how to play the blues by legendary bluesman, Willie Dixon, who also happened to be his grandfather and who raised him. He learned to play the piano with teachings from Leonard “Baby Doo” Caston, Lafayette Leake and his uncle Arthur “Butch” Dixon, all which had played in bands with Willie Dixon. The spirit of Little Brother Montgomery also came into play as he was a huge influence on Willie Dixon. Alex was being groomed to play with his grandfather on the stage at an early age. He was also a part of the first Blues In Schools programs put on by Blues Heaven Foundation, in which Alex would play different styles of blues while his grandfather narrated.
Alex accompanied his grandfather on piano in shows across the country, including many festivals and clubs throughout Los Angeles and Chicago. He co-wrote with his grandfather on the Grammy award winning album "Hidden Charms", produced by T-Bone Burnett, which was the last album recorded by Willie Dixon. Alex was raised among the “Who’s Who” of Blues, including Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Koko Taylor. He was featured in Willie Dixon's autobiography "I Am the Blues" and in his songbook. He has co-written over 40 songs with his grandfather, some of which will be released in upcoming projects. He was also recently featured on the cover of Southland Blues Magazine and was a spotlight article in the European blues magazine Blues Matters!.
Alex, in his young thirties, is currently the only musician in the Dixon family to have written, produced, arranged and recorded since his grandfather, who was a producer, arranger, and writer for some of the most famous rock/blues songs ever. His first CD titled “The Vintage Room” was his take on the Chicago Blues sound, led by vocalist/guitarist Cash McCall. His upcoming CD, due out April 28th, 2009, titled “Rising From The Bushes” by The Alex Dixon Band, is a mixture of blues and rock, and really showcases his many musical influences. Accompanying him in the studio was legendary drummer James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye), bassist Gerald Johnson (Steve Miller Band, Crosby Stills & Nash), vocalist Marcella Detroit (aka Marcy Levy – Eric Clapton, Shakespeare’s Sister), drummer Alvino Bennett (Koko Taylor, Dave Mason Band) and guitarist/vocalist Alan Mirikitani (aka BB Chung King), to name a few.
Alex, who is also currently Vice President at Blues Heaven Foundation, is doing his part to continue the legacy of the Dixon family and to ensure that the world will know about the "Roots of all American Music"...the blues.
JAMES GADSON, Drums
James Gadson, one of the greatest timekeepers of the past forty-plus years, and one of the most recorded drummers in R&B history, was born in Kansas City, Missouri on June 17, 1939. As a teen he naturally took to the drums with the influence of his father Harold, who was a drummer in the legendary Kansas City scene. His career started in the late ’60s with Dyke & The Blazers, The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band (“Express Yourself”, sampled by Dr. Dre for NWA's "Express Yourself"), and Bill Withers (“Use Me,” “Lean On Me”). In the ’70s, Gadson worked with Marvin Gaye (“I Want You”), The Jackson Five (“Dancing Machine”), Diana Ross (“Love Hangover”, sampled by Digital Underground), Cheryl Lynn (“Got To Be Real”), Tavares (“Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel”), and Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”). The drummer also recorded and/or performed with Anita Baker, James Brown, Ray Charles, George Duke, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, The Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Little Richard, Peaches & Herb, Billy Preston, Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes, The Spinners, Tina Turner…the list is seemingly never-ending. He became one of the most sought out studio drummers, playing on 300 gold records at last count, though you would never suspect it from his ever-humble disposition.
MARCELLA DETROIT (aka MARCY LEVY), Vocals
Detroit began playing with the Bob Seger band in the early 1970s, then toured and recorded with Leon Russell and The Gap Band in early 1974, before joining Eric Clapton’s band in September 1974. While working with Clapton she wrote several songs with him, including "Lay Down Sally”. After leaving Clapton's band, she did session work for a number of artists, including Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Alice Cooper and Bette Midler. She recorded her first solo album, Marcella, under her birth name, in 1982, and wrote material for Chaka Khan, Belinda Carlisle, Al Jarreau and Phillip Bailey, amongst others. In 1985 she worked for Clapton again, and performed with him at Live Aid. In 1989 she joined Shakespeare’s Sister as a band member and songwriter. At about this time she adopted the name Marcella Detroit, after her birthplace. Detroit's soprano voice provided the lead vocals on their biggest hit, "Stay", which was number one in the UK Singles Chart for eight weeks in 1992. By the second album she had been promoted to "50% member", but eventually left the group in 1993. After leaving the duo, Detroit restarted her solo career and had three UK top 40 hits: "I Believe" (UK #11), "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" (a duet with Elton John) (UK #24), and "I'm No Angel" (UK #33). She made a number of solo albums: Jewel (1994) (UK #15), Feeler (1996), and Dancing Madly Sideways (2001). In 2004 she began using her birth name again, as she returned to her blues roots and started playing with Carlos Guitarlos. In September 2006 she released a blues album, The Upside of Being Down under the name Marcy Levy Band. In April 2007 she released digitally a pop/dance song called "Mystery to Me" with Loverush UK.
GERALD JOHNSON, Bass
What do The Sweet Inspirations, Greg Allman, Dave Mason, Les Dudek, Steve Miller, Crosby Stills and Nash and The Pointer Sisters all have in common? The thick, funky bass lines laid down by one of rock music’s most unique voices of the bass guitar, Gerald Johnson. When one sees and hears Gerald play, there is no mistaking that his is an undeniable presence, a truly unique voice, an irresistible groove. Raised in Washington D.C., Gerald knew from a young age that music was the thing he wanted to do. His first professional opportunity came at 19 with an offer to tour with the established girl-group The Sweet Inspirations, who soon became an opening act for Elvis Presley on The Strip in Vegas. It was during a stint that Gerald met a young guitarist named Steve Miller, and soon he embarked on what would be a long career of making hit records and playing on major tours with a wide variety of artists, leaving a lasting impression in the eyes and ears of countless other bassists in the process. His first gold record came with Steve Miller Band’s The Joker, which contained the first of many memorable bass lines Gerald was to record with Miller, including Abracadabra and Steve Miller Live! His work with Dave Mason on his album Let it Go, Let it Flow featuring the smash-hit “We Just Disagree” led to work with Stephen Stills, and eventually Gerald was invited to join the rhythm section for Crosby Stills and Nash, a position he held for 8 years and numerous tours. Besides contributing his talents as a bassist, Gerald has also logged a number of recording credits as a vocalist known for his soulful, authentic style.
ALVINO BENNETT, Drums
Born in Chicago, Alvino Bennett began playing drums at 10 years old with the William Penn Elementary School drum and bugle corps. Soon after, he started playing for various local bands. At fourteen, he began traveling the country, working the club circuit. He was spotted in a club at age 17 and approached by blues legend, KoKo Taylor, to lend his talent. At the same time, many other blues and R&B luminaries began to call on him for his talent. These stars included: Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Cash McCall, and Mighty Joe Young just to name a few. In 1974, Alvino got a call to tour with the late great songstress, Minnie Ripperton. This tour opened the doors for many other projects, such as working with Gong Show Guest, Jaye P. Morgan and the vocal group The Originals. In addition, Alvino also worked with the family singing group, The Sylvers. This, in turn, led to many Motown and other recording sessions. Alvino hit on one of the biggest projects of his career in 1978, which was the million selling R&B band, L.T.D., of which he was a member for 5 years. Alvino quickly became a highly sought after "in demand drummer" for such stars as Cheryl Lynn, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Loggins, Bryan Ferry, Robin Trower, Sheena Easton, Little Richard, Slash's Blues Ball, Patrice Rushen, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and many more. In 2003, while playing a local gig near his home in Southern California, Bill Mason from Dave Mason's band stopped by to "sit in" with Alvino and friends. The two exchanged numbers and became friends. Within a few months, a spot was open for drums with the Dave Mason Band. Alvino became an integral part of the band ever since!!
ALAN MIRIKITANI (aka BB CHUNG KING), Guitar/Vocals
BB’s music is a mix of roots rock with a blues base. BB has always claimed blues to be his first love, but comes from a generation that loves to rock. His first CD "Blues Had A Baby", was released in 1994 on RCA/BMB and received generous support from radio fans. If you have to categorize the music, it is somewhere between newer artists Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Blues Travelers. But make no mistake, BB Chung King & The Buddaheads are the original LA version! BB keeps quite busy with the Buddaheads, but also finds time to write, record and produce music for other artists. BB has written songs for blues legends such as Bettye LaVette, Lonnie Brooks, Tinsley Ellis and helped Ruth Brown receive a Grammy for her performance of his song "Too Little, Too Late". Then he produced, wrote, engineered and played on B.J. Sharp's Grammy nominated CD "Never Felt No Blues". Her CD reached number 4 in the charts in Europe, without being issued there!
DAVID DILLS, Vocals
Dave Dills was born in Decatur, IL, and grew up playing blues, funk and country in bars all over the mid west. Known for his amazing, blazing guitar with such influences as Buddy Guy, Freddy King, Steve Morse and Danny Gatton, Dave did a short stint with the legendary Little Richard touring through the Midwest in 1982. Dave played every juke joint and biker bar from Chicago to New Orleans and then some, honing his chops on the road. Dave arrived in Los Angeles in 1986 and wrote for Disney records for a while and gigged in the local clubs, but settled down to raise a family. In 1993, the blues came calling…and he had to answer! Dave formed the Magpies with his wife Megan Morling-Dills and began playing local clubs in Los Angeles. The addition of Michael Fell on harmonica made the lineup complete. This time Dave’s bluesy fat voice was out front. It was the first time he had been the main singer in a band. He was used to people commenting on his guitar so it threw him for a loop when people went haywire over his emotional soulful voice. Go figure? He was surprised to get the call for The Alex Dixon Band project. Alex thought his voice would be perfect for this new version that he came up with for “Spoonful”, a song, of course, written by his grandfather, Willie Dixon, and made famous by Howlin’ Wolf. His performance on Spoonful led to David singing on some other great tracks.
MICHAEL FELL, Harmonica
Michael Fell is an accomplished musician/producer that has played with a variety of musicians across all genres. Some of those artists include Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Marcy Levy, Joan Osbourne, John Marx, Cash McCall, BB Chung King, Jimmy Smith, Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), Albert Collins, and Coco Montoya, to name a few. He is a Los Angeles blues harmonica man (taught by jazz organist legend Jimmy Smith) and brings West Coast style blues to the table.