Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969)

- Don Dixon -- vocals, bass, percussion, guitar

- Jimmy Glasgow -- drums, percussion

- Mike Greer -- keyboards

- Robert Kirkland -- vocals, guitar, percussion


   line up 2 (-73)

 - Don Dixon -- vocals, bass, percussion, guitar

- Robert Kirkland -- vocals, guitar, percussion

NEW - Ogie Shaw -- drums, percussion

NEW - Marty Stout -- keyboards 


   line up 3 (1973-74)

 - Don Dixon -- vocals, bass, percussion, guitar

NEW - Steve Herbert -- drums, percussion (replaced Ogie Shaw)

- Robert Kirkland -- vocals, guitar, percussion

- Marty Stout -- keyboards 


  line up 4 (1974-76)

NEW - Scott Davidson -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Steve Herbert)

- Don Dixon -- vocals, bass, percussion, guitar

- Robert Kirkland -- vocals, guitar, percussion

- Marty Stout -- keyboards 


  line up 2 (1976-83)

NEW - Scott Abernethy -- lead guitar, vocals 

- Scott Davidson -- drums, percussion

- Don Dixon -- vocals, bass, percussion, guitar

- Robert Kirkland -- vocals, guitar, percussion

- Marty Stout -- keyboards 


  supporting musicians (1976)

- Ann Barak -- violin

- Don Brooks -- harmonica

- Charles Libove -- violin

- Kermit Moore - cello

- Larry Packer -- fiddle

- John Pintavalle -- violin

- Matthew Raimondo -- violin

- Eric Weissberg -- banjo





- 5'11"

- Scott Abernathy (solo efforts)

- Steve Ball Band (Scott Davidson)

- Rod Dash (Scott Abernethy)

- Scott Davidson (solo efforts)

- Don Dixon (solo efforts)

- Glass Moon (Scott Abernethy)

- Greer (Jimmy Glasgow)

- Kick the Future (Robert Kirkland an Scott Davidson)

- Robert Kirkland (solo efforts)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Prolepsis

Company: Sugarbush

Catalog: SBS 112

Country/State: North Carolina

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2307

Price: $75.00



The band's second album, 1975's "Prolepsis" was recorded and released in the wake of a personnel change that saw original drummer Ogie Shaw replaced by Steve Herbert.  Once more self-produced and self-financed, the sophomore set found Dixon and Kirkland plitting the majority of writing duties.  Keyboard player Marty Stout rounded out the album with the rocker 'Cost of Money'.  While the band sounded more comfortable in their studio surroundings this time around, at least to my ears musically the collection wasn't a major departure from their patented bar-band/country-rock sound.  My ears heard echoes of bands as diverse as The Buffalo Springfield, Firefall, Dan Fogelberg, and Poco.  At the same time Arrogance was different from your standard country-rock outfit.  Blame it on their college exposure (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill), but tracks like Kirkland's 'Slaughtered Elves' and Dixon's 'Bad Girl' showcased their knack for melding attractive country-rock melodies with quirky, frequently self-depreciating narratives.  There were plenty of highlights including the pretty opening ballad 'Six Wings', Dixon's pensive ballad 'Sun Sweet' and Stout's rocking 'Color of Money.'   Imagine 10cc's Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart having been raised in North Carolina rather than Manchester England.  It wasn't the most original album released in 1975, but it made for one of those collections that was fun to hear from start to finish and made me wish I'd had a chance to see them in a club setting.


And yes, I was curious about the album title.  Looking it up, it was defined as "the anticipation and answering of possible objections in rhetorical speech."


"Prolepsis" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Six Wings   (Robert Kirkland) - 3:20   rating: **** stars

Powered by Marty Stout's tasteful keyboards and Robert Kirkland's sweet voice, 'Six Wings' opened the album with a beautiful country-rock tinged ballad. The song's heartbreak feel has always reminded me of something out of the late Dan Fogelberg's catalog.

2.) Bad Girl   (Don Dixon) - 2:42   rating: *** stars

Musically 'Bad Girl' was a conventional rocker, but the slightly quirky and ominous edge managed to showcase Dixon's unique contributions to the band.  Groupies take care ...

3.) Barely Alive  (Robert Kirkland) -  2:23   rating: *** stars

Adding some African-flavored percussion and a country-rock feel to the mix, the bouncy 'Barely Alive' was also one of the album's most commercial tracks.

4.) Sun Sweet   (Don Dixon) - 8:50   rating: **** stars

One of the prettiest tunes Dixon's ever written and certainly one of his best vocal performances, 'Sun Sweet' managed to blend a Firefall-styled country-rock ballad with a slightly jazzy structure and tinge (partially due to  Brian Cumming's horns).  Even though it clocked in at over eight minutes, it was too short.  The mid-song harmony vocals were simply breath-taking.  For years Dixon's dry delivery has reminded me of another singer, but I've never been able to figure out who it was - perhaps Marshall Tucker's Doug Gray?

5.) North End of Town   (Robert Kirkland) - 3:17   rating: **** stars

Opening with Bob Ennis' hoe-down fiddle, I  thought 'North End of Town' was going to be a throwaway country tune.  Yeah, the hoe-down effects weren't particularly endearing, but the tune had a great melody and Kirkland's performance has always reminded me a bit of Michael Nesmith early country-rock endeavors.  One of the album's guilty pleasures.


(side 2)

1.) We Live To Play   (Don Dixon) -:0:26   rating: ** stars

The country-ish 'We Live To Play ' opened side two with a throwaway song fragment.  Not sure why the bothered ...

2.) Slaughtered Elves  (Robert Kirkland) - 2:29   rating: **** stars

Patented country-rock that you've heard dozens of times before, but powered by some hysterical, self-depreciating lyrics, 'Slaughtered Elves' was a hoot ...  The glamorous life of a rock band.  The song title always makes me smile - guess it was just so unexpected.  

3.) Can't I Buy a Song   (Don Dixon) - 2:39   rating: **** stars

'Can't I Buy a Song' was another of the album's more rock oriented tunes, but the song structure was unusual, recalling a weird mash-up of Firefall, Kansas, and Steely Dan.   

4.) Sunday Feeling  (Robert Kirkland) - 4:14   rating: **** stars

Opening up with Stout turning in some of his best church organ, 'Sunday Feeling' quickly morphed into pretty, pensive ballad territory.  One of Kirkland's nicest vocals.

5.) People Aren't Free   (Don Dixon) - 4:09   rating: *** stars

Dixon's Southern twang gave 'People Aren't Free' a distinct Southern rocker vibe - Poco? Outlaws?  Not sure which it was, but it definitely resembled something in that part of the musical genre.

6.) Cost of Money   (Marty Stout) - 4:18   rating: **** stars

Shame Stout wasn't given more creative space since his 'Cost of Money' was the album's most conventional and enjoyable rocker.  It would have made a nice single.

7.) My Final Song   (Don Dixon) - 6:24   rating: *** stars

Talk about the perfect song to close an album ...  'My Final Song' was a fine Poco-styled country ballad.  Pretty with a high "hum" factor, it was also derivative.  Everything from Stout's tinkling keyboards to Dixon's throbbing vocals left you wondering where you'd heard the sounds before.




Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Rumors

Company: Vanguard

Catalog: VSD 79369

Country/State: North Carolina

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 868

Price: $30.00


Arrogance's third album found the band poised for the big time.   Signed by Vanguard, they were given a recording budget; time in Vanguard's New York City studios, and assigned an arranger and a real producer in the form of John Anthony (about to make Peter Frampton a mega-star).  Released in 1976, in spite of the increased resources, "Rumors" wasn't a major change in musical direction (or maybe I should say directions).  Working separately, Dixon and Kirkland were again responsible for the material which again covered a wide swath of territory including stabs at conventional bluegrass country ('Two Good Legs'), country-rock ('Open Windows'), pop ('Why Do You Love Me'), and Southern rock (the Wet Willie-styled 'Final Nickel').  If you were keeping notes, Dixon's material tended towards the good-natured quirky side, while Kirkland seemed more comfortable playing it straight.  Regardless, taken on a song-by-song basis the results were quite impressive.  Dixon and Kirkland were both accomplished singers and after seven years playing clubs, these guys were one tight entity, capable of handling a wide variety of material without breaking a sweat.  They always reminded me of a North Carolina version of NRBQ - a track like 'Lady Luck and Luxury' underscores the comparison.   And that musical diversity was simultaneously a creative strength and a marketplace weakness.   Ultimately it was the marketplace that made the difference.  With the prime music buying demographic having the attention span of a gnat, a band that was smart, challenging, diverse, and entertaining simply didn't have a chance.  Dixon himself seemed concerned about the band's demographic audience - checkout the funny, but insightful 'Doubt It'.   





LP back cover left to right: Dixon - Kirkland - Davidson - Stout







Drummer Steve Herbert's stay proved brief.  Shortly after the album was released, former Steve Ball Band drummer Scott Davidson replaced him.


"Rumors" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) We Live to Play (instrumental)   (Don Dixon) - 0:25    rating: ** star

To be honest, 'We Live to Play' wasn't much more than a song fragment, showcasing some churchy Marty Stout keyboards.  There simply wasn't enough hear to really comment on.
2.) Sunday Feeling   (Robert Kirkland) - 3:56
  rating: **** stars

One of the band's prettiest ballads, 'Sunday Feeling' had a beautiful, mid-tempo mournful melody, coupled with some tasteful strings.  Kirkland seldom sounded as good.  
3.) Final Nickel    (Don Dixon) - 3:04
  rating: *** stars

'Final Nickel' was a wonderful slice of Southern-tinged rock with a bouncy melody, goofy lyrics (kissing dogs, q-tips, etc.).  We're talking he Wet Willie-style of Southern rock, rather than Lanyard Skinnier-styled hard rock.  Well, let me qualify that - two thirds of the song was great with a bouncy, memorable melody and nice harmony vocals.  Unfortunately the acapella segment was simply irritating.  It was released as a single:





- 1976's 'Final Nickel' b/w 'Final Nickel' (Vanguard catalog number VSD 35196)






4.) Two Good Legs   (Robert Kirkland) - 3:27
    rating: ** star

Straightforward country track showcasing banjo player Eric Weissberg.  Simply didn't do anything for me.   
5.) Dying To Know   (Robert Kirkland) - 4:17
  rating: *** stars

Another pretty ballad with plenty of commercial potential, 'Dying To Know' found the band shifting into conventional country-rock mode.  Showcasing the band's lovely harmony vocals, Stout's economic keyboards, and a beautiful acoustic guitar solo, this one sounded a bit like something Rick Roberts and Firefall might have recorded.  
6.) Open Window   (Robert Kirkland) - 3:48
  rating: **** stars

'Open Window' offered up more county-rock, this time with the emphasis on rock.  One of the album's stronger melodies; the combination of nifty Kirkland-Dixon harmonies, and some killer electric guitar, this one would easily have slotted into top-40 radio along side The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and the rest of the gang.  Vanguard tapped it as a single, but did little to promote it.   





- 1976's 'Open Window' b/w 'Lady Luck and Luxury' (Vanguard catalog number VSD 35193)   




(side 2)
Why Do You Love Me   (Don Dixon) - 2:57   rating: *** stars

Good-timey top-40-ish pop that would have been a blast to hear in a small club.  More harmonica and cowbell please.   
2.) Lady Luck and Luxury   (Don Dixon) - 4:08
  rating: **** stars

Propelled by Stout's keyboards, 'Lady Luck and Luxury was a quirky, old-timey song that somehow managed to be one of the standout performances.  Not sure if it had something to do with the nice acoustic guitars, the tuba, or the lyric which included "can't pee over the side" ...   
3.) Pitchin' Woo   (Robert Kirkland) - 2:33
  rating: *** stars

Driving Poco-styled country-rock that was pleasant, but again didn't do all that much for me.  
4.) I Doubt It   (Don Dixon) - 3:37
  rating: **** stars

Dixon's bouncy 'Doubt It; was simply one of the funniest and most poignant commentaries ever recorded on the record business.   Great melody and how could you not smile at a song that name checked The Amboy Dukes and Aztec Two Step ?   "Nobody wants you if you're not the same.  Nobody listens if they have to strain ... "
5.) It's Sad (But You Can't Really Hear Me at All)   (Don Dixon) - 3:34
  rating: **** stars

'It's Sad (But You Can't Really Hear Me at All) ' closed the album with a gorgeous Crosby, Stills, and Nash-styled acoustic ballad.



Sadly, Vanguard seemed clueless when it came to promoting the band, the single, or the parent album (perhaps not a major surprise looking at the folk-oriented roster).  It was their only release for the label.


For hardcore fans, Dixon reissued the album in CD format on his own Dixon Archival label in 2000 (along with all the other Arrogance albums).   The reissue included a pair of bonus tracks - earlier, demo versions of 'Open Window' and 'Final Nickel'.



The band have a wonderful website at: