Q&A: Gabe Dixon

I chatted with musician Gabe Dixon about his love of music, Nashville, and his fans

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

I was trying to play music since I could reach the piano keys as a toddler, but I knew I wanted to be a musician when I was about 12.

Q: Talk about your upbringing, childhood, early life, etc

I grew up in a music-loving family. None of my immediate family members were professional musicians, but my Mom and Dad loved music. We listened to their record collection a lot (mostly music from the 60s and 70s at the time, and they signed me, my brother, and my sister up for music lessons when we were each about 6 or 7. We also sang in the children’s choir at church. I joined a professional band at age 12, and that gave me my first glimpse into the music business, and it gave me opportunities to play and sing songs with a band in front of audiences. I guess I haven’t looked back since.

Q: Why is Nashville such a special place in your opinion?

I’m not sure. I have always found it to be a generally friendly place, and music has always had special importance there. The sheer number of musicians has created a healthy competition and therefore no small number of musical virtuosos. I was lucky to grow up in that environment.

Q: What is your favorite song to perform and why?

I guess it depends on my mood. “Till You’re Gone” is fun because it’s funky and rowdy, but many people have told me that “All Will Be Well” has had special meaning for their lives, helping them through difficult times, so I like playing that one because of how much it has meant to other people.

Q: Talk about your new EP “Passing Through.” What was your songwriting process? Can you pick a favorite song from the EP?

I pretty much just picked the best songs I had at the time, and I recorded them. That’s been my simple A&R process on every record. 2 of the songs—“Mad Machine” and “Passing Through”—were written this year with my friend/producer, Dustin Ransom, and 2 were written a few years ago—”Finally Got It Right” and “Coming Home.” I wrote these 2 with my long-time songwriting partner, Wayne Kirkpatrick. I had been looking for a place for them on a record for a long time, and they matched the sentiment and themes of the Passing Through EP well. I’m glad they finally found a home.

I guess I am the most proud of the song “Passing Through.” It comes from an honest place, and it is one of the songs I revisit the lyrics for in my mind and sometimes wonder “how did I do that?” Sometimes, as an artist, it’s easy to wonder if you can still tap in to something special creatively, and the fact that I wrote that one this year makes me think, “ok, I can still write a song.”

Q: As an artist, what is it like to have your music featured in visual media, like tv shows and films?

It’s always a treat. I remember sitting in the movie theatre watching the film, “The Proposal,” and hearing me and my band blasting through the speakers during the opening credits. It was such an exciting feeling. I almost stood up and shouted, “that’s me!” but thought better of it, haha. I am always hoping for more people to hear my music, and I think having a song land in a show or movie provides a lovely way for people to discover it.

Q: What have you learned about yourself over the course of your career thus far?

I have learned that, as a performer, I’m more about the music than anything else. I don’t really have a “schtick.” People are coming to see me because they love the songs and the musicianship, not because they want to hear me tell funny jokes or engage them in banter. I’ve realized over time that not every performer can lean on their musicianship, so I have come to embrace it more for myself.

Q: What is it like being able to communicate with your fans via your social media channels?

It’s nice to get the positive feedback sometimes. I occasionally start to wonder if anybody cares about this music I’m putting into the world, but when a fan writes a heartfelt message about how my music has affected them, it’s a nice reminder that I am actually doing something important and meaningful for people. Honestly, that’s often what keeps me going.

Q: Are you excited about your upcoming show in Annapolis?

Definitely! I have played Rams Head several times, and I love that venue, but it has been a while, so I am excited to be coming back!

Gabe headlines Rams Head Annapolis on Saturday, 12/16 at 1pm! Buy tix

Follow Gabe on Twitter / IG / Facebook / Website