Gabe Dixon has been around for a while, since 1999 in fact. After making a series of albums with his namesake Gabe Dixon Band, he gained notable prominence by playing keyboards and contributing backing vocals to Paul McCartney’s Driving Rain LP. After performing with Macca at the Concert For New York City, a fundraiser for 9/11relief, he was offered a chance to tour with the ex Beatle, but turned the offer down to work on his own material. It was likely a difficult choice, but the music he’s produced ever since, now that’s he’s shed the band and gone solo, suggests he made a fortuitous choice.
Indeed, Turns To Gold, Dixon’s second solo set, has all the makings of a big breakthrough. The sound is as sunny as the title suggests, and, apart from the boogie-based “Crave” and the rhythm-heavy “If I Love You,” the music comes across as easy, uplifting and instantly accessible. Dixon can pride himself on being quite the balladeer, and songs such as “Holding Her Freedom,” “Flow Like Wine” and “The Way To Love Me” are, in a word, nothing less than lovely. Dixon’s skill in crafting sumptuous melodies is one thing, but his ability to shape them into heartfelt paeans about love and romance accelerate his efforts and take them to an entirely new strata. As a result, Turns To Gold is simply an exceptional album, one that ought to be capable of turning heads and making new admirers in the process.
To be sure, Dixon has some help here. Bassist Viktor Krauss and singer/songwriter Garrison Starr each lend an assist. Each of these tuneful tracks boasts rich arrangements that add depth to the delivery with a polish and nuance that reflect a first rate production. And yet, while it’s still early in Dixon’s ever-burgeoning solo career, it’s also clear he’s ready to scale an even higher plateau.