Willie Dixon’s Diverse Background

By the time Willie Dixon started making music for Chess Records, he been a part of just about as much of American culture as was possible.  Raised in the Mississippi, he obviously had southern culture in his blood, however, he also had a great love for New Orleans culture and music in particular.   His time in Chicago was the spent understanding city life and getting accustomed to life in the great migration.

These influences surely bleed into his own playing and writing style.  New Orleans polyphony and tin pan alley structure would have absolutely lended to his own songwriting styles.  The vocal groups that he performed with in Chicago bleed in song structure especially.  Most of all, perhaps, the gang vocal style so prevalently found in southern culture is riddled throughout all of his work with Chess.  Songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Spoonful.”