Dixie Desperados release first-fully produced album

The Dixie Desperados with, from left, Jimmy Millsaps, Gregg McMillan, Mike Chasteen, Allan Lowe and Jeff Sims, will play a CD-release party for their new album on Saturday at High Dive. The album was produced by Stan Lynch.

Courtesy of the Dixie Desperados
Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 1:20 p.m.

In the ’70s, Gainesville’s Dixie Desperados toured the Southeast and opened for the likes of the Allman Brothers Band and Pure Prairie League before disbanding later in the 1980s. After reuniting in 2011, however, the self-described “cowboy rock” group is finding its second time may be the charm — at least when it comes to releasing its own originals.


Dixie Desperados’ CD-release show

What: Gainesville-based Southern rock band promotes self-titled new album, produced by Stan Lynch
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Mike Boulware and Family opens
Where: High Dive, 210 SW Second Ave.
Admission: $10

On Saturday, the group plays a CD-release show for its first fully-produced and officially released album, a self-titled CD of new and older material produced by Stan Lynch, the former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drummer who manned the controls for the Dixie Desperados in sessions designed to capture the band’s live sound, which fans first discovered all those years ago.

“I’m very, very pleased with the results because to me, it sounds like the band sounds when we play a live show,” says lead guitarist/vocalist Jeff Sims, who is joined on the album by fellow original members Mike Chasteen on guitar and vocals, acoustic guitarist and vocalist Allan Lowe, bassist/guitarist Gregg McMillan and recent recruit Jimmy Millsaps on drums.

The album includes such live-oriented songs as the sinewy rockers “Clint Eastwood” and “To the Altar,” along with tunes that find the common ground between country and rock such as “New Damn Neighborhood” and “This Land,” along with acoustic-oriented songs such as “Sweet Summerhaven,” with its Eagles-like vocal harmonies, and the ballad “Into the Flood.”

“Several go back,” Sims says about the songs on the album. “There are three songs that are from the late ’70s period, and everybody else in the band brought in two that were somewhat new. And then we added those three older ones.”

For his part, Lynch, whose friendship with Sims goes back to their days in junior high school, producing the group’s album was simply a matter of going for the band’s well-established live sound and then turning the members loose to do what they have always done best.

“Everybody stepped up to the plate; they worked really hard,” Lynch says. “And I’m sort of used to guys who do this all the time, and I treated them pretty rough,” he says jokingly.

“I was very demanding and I know that. So to me, what I’m left with is that everybody stepped up to the plate. Those guys really brought their game. And I was just super proud of them; really, really proud of them,” Lynch says.

Saturday’s show at High Dive begins with an opening set at 7:30 p.m. by Mike Boulware and Family, and will close with two sets by the Dixie Desperados, whose members likewise couldn’t be happier with the 11-song album, Sims says.

“It’s fantastic, and it’s so rewarding because it’s our own music,” Sims says. The members also were happy to have a producer of such stature as Lynch, an experienced performer, songwriter and producer in his own right, Sims says.

“He was very generous with his time and he really got involved,” Sims says about Lynch.

“We figured there was probably no way we could pay what he would normally charge to produce but he volunteered, and it was very generous.

“He made it so we could afford to do this. And really it was a gift of camaraderie from him. He got absorbed as if he was a band member,” Sims says. “So he is an honorary Desperado.”

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at bill.dean@gvillesun.com, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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