Don Dixon & Marti Jones Live @ Columbia College 10-29-09
Though Don Dixon has passed through Columbia, South Carolina several times over the last couple decades, his wife Marti Jones' last performance here was in 1987, so she was long overdue. In the cozy confines of an on-campus cafe space at the all-female Columbia College, Jones began the show by welcoming the few dozen in attendance to "our living room," and the loose, friendly set bore out that characterization over the next 90 minutes. Don Dixon is famous for his production work with bands such as R.E.M., the Smithereens, and many more, as well as being a member of seminal NC band Arrogance. His solo career has delved into more soul-influenced material, and the songs he chose to perform on this particular evening drew mostly from his more recent albums, showcasing his strong, soulful vocals. Jones' song choices delved deep into her back catalog, including two songs from Used Guitars, one from Match Game, and the title song from Sound of Lies. "Tourist Town" was a treat, with Jones' vocal and the shimmering harmonies from the original recording coming across nicely in this live acoustic setting. True to the 'living room' nature of the show, Dixon and Jones engaged the crowd in conversation, told some stories about the songs they were playing, and poked fun at themselves frequently. An intermittent performer and recording artist since the mid-90s, Jones has released a couple albums this millenium, and several songs each from those rounded out the show. One had to wonder if the undergrads in attendance for extra credit in their English classes had any idea how rare of a musical moment they were lucky enough to be witnessing; an after-show discussion with a couple of them indicated the Dixon/Jones team may have gained a few new fans from the younger generation.