Deke Dickerson has long championed the nostalgic sounds of rock, surf, and hillbilly. He did it first as a member of Untamed Youth, then for the Dave & Deke Combo, and for the past several years, he has been the guitar-slinging leader of the Ecco-Fonics. This time out, he's pursuing rockabilly, hillbilly, and the R&B roots of rock 'n' roll in separate sessions with three different line-ups.
3-Dimensions opens with three new rock 'n' roll tunes accompanied by covers of the Four Nights' doo-wop "I Get So Lonely" and Charlie Rich's "Sittin' and Thinkin'." Dickerson's guitar takes a backseat to Ron Dziubla's wailing saxophones and the barrelhouse-and-boogie-woogie piano of Carl Sonny Leyland. Legendary New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer anchors the session. Palmer's driving beats and second-line cadences are as moving here as they were on the seminal recordings of Little Richard, Fats Domino, and many others.
It all closes with a septet of hillbilly tunes. The band features the guitar-and-steel duo of Dave Biller and Jeremy Wakefield, who've previously appeared together with Wayne Hancock. The swing and boogie rhythms of Joe "Cannonball" Lewis' "You've Been Honky-Tonkin'" and Dickerson's own "Knoxville Boogie" come around full-circle to the R&B tunes that open the disc, neatly sewing together the project's three sets. A hidden bonus track features Biller and Wakefield tearing up Bob Wills' "Fat Boy Rag," with the versatile Dickerson blowing bass saxophone.
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Dickerson is at the top of his game across the board, trading in his penchant for novelty tunes for a sophisticated and sly sense of humor. He gathers around him musicians who rock, swing, and twang like a latter-day Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.