The pop music scene from the ’80s and ’90s would have been significantly less bright and shining without the flair and expertise of Don Dixon, who along with wife Marti Jones will present an evening of acoustic music live Saturday at The Community Performance Center in Rock Hill.
A pop music phenom singer, songwriter, musician, producer and occasional actor, Dixon ranks high as a key producer and sound innovator in the ’80s jangle-pop movement.
His career began as a co-founding member of North Carolina cult band Arrogance. He opted to go solo in 1983 to find further fame co-producing R.E.M.’s landmark debut ‘Murmur’ along with Mitch Easter.
From that milestone, Dixon turned to recording his solo debut, ‘Most of the Girls Like to Dance (But Only Some of the Boys Like To),’ establishing himself as a multiple-threat melodic/pop entity.
His writing, production and session credits include Joe Cocker, Counting Crows, The Connells, Marshall Crenshaw, Fetchin’ Bones, Kim Carnes, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pat DiNizio, The Smithereens, Snagglepuss, The Spongetones, Hootie and the Blowfish, Let’s Active, Matthew Sweet, and many more.
Incidentally, Dixon’s local link is quite legit. He is a native of nearby Lancaster, which makes him one of our own. His life has been devoted to music and while not overtly flashy, his friendliness and engaging style aids a mission focused on capturing “the essence of his life in the moment.”
Marti Jones, a singer and painter originally from Uniontown, Ohio, got her start fronting the ’80s power-popsters Color Me Gone. When the group disbanded, she released her debut solo album, which was produced by Don Dixon, whom she would later marry.
Jones has been compared to Dusty Springfield, Bonnie Raitt and Annie Lennox, often working with outstanding supporting musicians including Marshall Crenshaw, T-Bone Burnett, Darlene Love, as well as Dixon, who subsequently produced all of his wife’s solo albums.
Together, they are a compelling, talented duo, usually with Jones behind the mic and Dixon at the soundboard. Their most recent collaboration, ‘Living Stereo,’ is a collection of duets.
Meet Marti Jones and Don Dixon together for an evening of acoustic music Saturday at The Community Performance Center, 249 East Main Street, Rock Hill. Call 803-328-2787 or go to york countyarts.org for show details. For more on the music, visit dondixonmusic.com.
Turn to harder, heavier and louder with ’80s/’90s rockers Skid Row Saturday at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte. Billed as American hard rock, their unruly, defiant edge blasted the band out of New Jersey straight into multi-platinum success with hits “18 and Life,” “Youth Gone Wild” and “I Remember You,” among others.
Eventual worldwide sales hit over 20 million albums and kept them on MTV and in the arenas. Originally fronted by blond-haired “lost boy” Sebastian Bach as the leader of a pack of irascible ne’er-do-wells, their delivery was power-packed and irreverent.
No longer with the band, Bach has been seen most often on TV in various sitcom appearances and reality shows. Skid Row currently features original members Scotti Hill, guitar; Rachel Bolan, bass; Snake Sabo, guitar; plus drummer Rob Hammersmith and new front man/lead vocalist Johnny Solinger.
Channel your inner problem child with Skid Row live Saturday, along with guest openers 21st Century Goliath and Beyond the Fade at Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St., Charlotte. Call 704-377-6874 or visit amossouthend.com for ticket details and show information.
For more on the band and music, go to skidrow.com, facebook.com/OfficialSkidRow, and twitter.com/OfficialSkid Row.
• Friday: Chubby Knuckles at Amici Lovin Oven, Rock Hill; Rusty Pilot at Fat Fingers Bar, Catawba; Tone Deaf Acoustic Solo – Bryan Dover at American Café and Lounge, Fort Mill; Honeysuckle Ridge at Wild Wing Café-Ayrsley, Charlotte; Live and In Demand Night 1 at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Jars of Clay, The Last Bison at Amos’ Southend, Charlotte; Tift Merrit at the Visulite Theater, Charlotte; George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners, The Chemist at The Double Door Inn, Charlotte.
Perfect Strangers Acoustic at The Lodge, Charlotte; Spirit System, Heaven, Replicas at Snug Harbor, Charlotte; OneRepublic, Serena Ryder, Mayer Hawthorne at Uptown Amphitheater, Charlotte; Analog Daze, Flesh and Stone at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Andy the Doorbum, The Luciferian Agenda, Ghost Trees, more at the Milestone, Charlotte.
Burning Bright at Wild Wing Café-Epicenter, Charlotte; The Low Counts at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte; Midnight Conspiracy with Eye Live at The Chop Shop-NoDa, Charlotte; Early Ray, The Lacs at Coyote Joe’s, Charlotte; and Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist (Band of Heathens) at the Evening Muse, Charlotte.
• Saturday: Analog Daze, Suttle at Luke’s Sports Bar and Grill, Rock Hill; Alan Barrington at Amici Lovin Oven, Rock Hill; Chubby Knuckles at Empire Pizza II-Newport, Rock Hill; Frank Foster, Corey Hunt Band at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Skid Row, 21 Century Goliath, Beyond the Fade at Amos Southend, Charlotte; The Spongetones at the Double Door Inn, Charlotte; The Loudermilks, Robert Childers, Wayne Graham at Snug Harbor, Charlotte.
Crashbox at RiRa Irish Pub, Charlotte; Sugarsmax at Wild Wing Café-Epicentre, Charlotte; No Anger Control, Cop Graves, PMA at Common Market-Plaza Midwood, Charlotte; Slightly Stoopid, Grouch and Eligh, Tribal Seeds, more at the Uptown Amphitheater, Charlotte; Jesta James at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Poor Man’s Fame, ERA9, The Jackknife Barber, SnuffalufaFunk, The Days Remain, Fall of Corruption at The Chop Shop-NoDa, Charlotte.
Medusa Stone; Mandolin Orange, Josh Moore; at the Evening Muse, Charlotte; Lefty Williams Band at US National Whitewater Center, Charlotte; Noise Vocal Band, Cut Off Acapella at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte and Shotgun Saints (2 to 5 pm) at Iron Thunder Saloon, Concord, N.C.
• Sunday: Wilson, The Greenery, American Fangs, Dirty South Revolutionaries at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Wicked Powers at Mac’s Speed Shop-Southend, Charlotte; Caffiends, Lil Skritt, MC Stealth, The Modrats, more at The Milestone, Charlotte; Scott Wieland and The Wildabouts at The Fillmore, Charlotte; 12 Band Jam at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Darling Parade, What Happened in Vegas, Lakeview Drive, more at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte and Reinaldo Brahn and Jim Brock at the Evening Muse, Charlotte.
• Monday: Find Your Muse Open Mic with Renelvis at Evening Muse, Charlotte; Monday Night All Stars at The Double Door, Charlotte; Open Mic with Three Piece Bucket at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte and Knockturnal at Snug Harbor, Charlotte.
• Tuesday: Bill Hanna Jazz Jam at Double Door Inn, Charlotte; The Jazz Room at Booth Playhouse, Charlotte; Beer Cocktails with Mike Waters, Stacey Leazer at Heist Brewery, Charlotte; The Original G-Man and Friends at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte and Little Johnny Trailer Trash at Stooges Pub and Grub, Mint Hill.
• Wednesday: Legal Limit at Mac’s Speed Shop-Southend, Charlotte; Badfish-Tribute to Sublime, Sun Dried Vibes, Less Than Jake at Amos’ Southend, Charlotte; Bruno Mars, Fitz and The Tantrums at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte; Abe Reid at Snug Harbor, Charlotte; Junior Astronomers, The So So Glows, more at the Milestone, Charlotte.
Toby Creek at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte; Haldenvang at Roux (Boudreau’s)-NoDa, Charlotte; The Lonely Biscuits at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte; The Howling Brothers, The Grahams at Evening Muse, Charlotte and Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney, DJ Pauly D at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Charlotte.
• Thursday: Trial By Fire — Journey Tribute at Music on Main, Downtown-Monroe;
“And that was all she wrote.”
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