DIXIE WITCH (Smoke & Mirrors) CD
I can't help, but the latest album 'One Bird, Two Stones' of Austin's one and only DIXIE WITCH didn't convince me as much as I hoped. Maybe my expectations have been too high, because their debut 'Into The Sun' was (and still is) a masterful piece of heaviest southern-drenched 70's hardrock, combined with a slight doom feel. The second album was more settled down on the bluesier side of rock, what's not that bad, but I missed the band's passionate power and a few of the songs were a bit average for DIXIE WITCH. Three years have passed, and 'Smoke & Mirrors' is the third album of the band, again released by Small Stone Records, who also reissued 'Into The Sun' in 2005. And the new one is exactly the album I expected after the first ! Great songs, great riffs and great vocals, again shared between drummer Trinidad Leal and bassist Curt Christenson, and again T. Lee is the winner here, although C.Christenson is doing a fine job, too.
I don't know much drummer, which own such a powerful voice like him. Not to forget guitarist Clayton Mills, who is responsible for a more than a dozen of smoking riffs and soulful solos. For my taste, 'Smoke & Mirrors' contains some of the best songs, which the group recorded until now. Just take the first three ones 'Set the Speed', 'Shoot the Moon' and 'S.O.L.' and I hope, your doubts will be wiped away within a few minutes.. This is finest US-Hardrock, strongly influenced by the early albums of Blackfoot , Aerosmith and even Kiss have found their way into the massive rock 'n' roll of DIXIE WITCH.
The southern roots of the band are still shining through the album, and especially the doomy 'Ballinger Cross' or 'Last Call' are just two examples here. The moody 'Last Call' is an epic piece, with additional hammond organs plus Wurlitzer piano, what leads the band near to the mighty Gov't Mule. And although this bands kicks serious ass, no matter if the pace is slow or fast, here's still an intense emtional depth, what sets DIXIE WITCH apart from most of the other bands who draw influences out of the same sources like the powertrio. 'Smoke & Mirrors' is an excellent and authentic package, and I'm very pleased about the fact, that DIXIE WITCH are back in best shape!