In a city overflowing with transplants, Gabe Dixon is a rare Nashville native. It seems fitting, then, that the piano-pounding songwriter — now an Americana solo artist, following a decade-plus run as frontman of his own Southern pop/rock trio and sideman for the likes of Paul McCartney and Alison Krauss — turned to his own neighborhood as the setting for “Crave,” the first video from his newly-released Turns to Gold.
“We shot the video in East Nashville, at the oldest house we could find,” says Dixon. “We wanted to find something with an authentically southern, natural feeling to it, and this 200 year-old house was perfect. It almost had an antebellum feel. So we put an upright piano onto the front lawn in 50 degree weather and got to work. I knew I wanted to have a piano in the video, but in an odd sort of place.”
“Crave,” which premieres today on Rolling Stone Country, finds Dixon singing about love and lust over a descending pop-soul piano riff. A backup band adds plenty of compact crunch behind him, but it’s Dixon’s upright Yamaha that drives the tune forward.
“I’ve always secretly wanted to be a guitar player,” he admits, “and all my piano parts are trying to imitate what a guitar would do. There are songs on the album where I’m almost playing a finger-picking guitar style on the piano, or I’m doing what a banjo would do. I hope that makes the music a little more interesting, because I’m trying to do something that the piano doesn’t usually do. In most music, the piano doesn’t carry the song rhythmically.”
Released last week, Turns to Gold also marks Dixon’s debut as an independent artist.