Call it a mystery of cartography: somehow Bakersfield has ended up in Brooklyn. There's also some strangeness afoot with the calendar. It sure feels like you're in a time when Don Rich still walks the earth (or, conversely, Big & Rich do not). At least so it seems when you encounter the vintage five-piece country music of The Dixons.
Sure, things can get tricky when issues of geography and authenticity - the latter, especially, a term spring-loaded with trouble - are discussed. But occasionally music drifts in that has such a time-machine quality that you're driven to salute its purity and hold firm to the belief that its makers aren't just trying on hats and passing through. That's the case with The Dixons. Jeff Mowrer's voice, good-whiskey smooth with a natural catch, is backed by everything a traditionalist could want - namely, upright bass, guest fiddle, the twang of a Telecaster and plenty of pedal steel. Even songwriter Mowrer's titles are straight hurtin' country, from Still Your Fool and Lonesome Side of Me to the says-it-all Broken Hearted, Lovesick and Blue. And the songs attached, full of willing fools and crushed tickers back-dropped by the appropriate shades of blue, earn their titles.
If somehow still skeptical, wait until the three covers hit two-thirds of the way in. Just Say You'll Be Mine (from rocka-hillbilly band Eric Kinsey & the Tip-Top Daddies), the oft-visited Thanks A Lot and Wayne Walker's I've Got a New Heartache fall right in line between two Mowrer originals with nary a hiccup. Maps and decades be damned.