Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Journey’s Dixie Highway

Despite being known primarily for their ballads these days, Journey was a band that, in its prime, had major musical chops and could really kick ass when they wanted to.

One of Journey’s rarest songs is a gem: “Dixie Highway” is an extended, multi-part jam that smokes from start to finish.

Written about a network of U.S. roads running between Michigan and Florida, “Dixie Highway” made its only appearance on Journey’s 1981 double-live album, “Captured.”

Performances from the band’s 1980 “Departure” tour resulted in the live set, which featured material from three locations (Detroit, Montreal and Tokyo), about half of which (including “Dixie Highway”) were recorded over two shows at Detroit’s legendary Cobo Hall in August of that year.

The song came together on the road: originally written on the band bus on the way to Detroit via the famous highway, it became fully realized after jamming it out on tour – kind of writing and road-testing at the same time.

In guitarist Neal Schon, you’ll hear a lead sound that could be heard years later by players like Eric Johnson, Steve Morse and Joe Satriani.

Here’s two versions: one from the live album, and – for those who like to watch - a live show from Japan.

DixieJourney - Dixie Highway (Live) - Captured (Live)

Journey – Dixie Highway
“Captured” - 1981

Journey – Dixie Highway
Osaka, Japan - October 10, 1980