Cody Lynn Macy and J.T. Hubbell began their musical journey out of love—of the music and, eventually, of each other.
“We were both hired into another band and that’s how we got together,” Macy said.
Together for 10 years, the couple branched off and created their own group, Desert Dixie, a homage to their home state of Arizona. The five musicians are considered one of the more successful cover groups in town, playing Valleywide in bars, casinos, shopping centers, festivals and weddings.
“When we started out, we were playing anywhere and everywhere we could,” Macy said. “We would take five to six shows a week.”
East Mesa residents can see Desert Dixie’s first show of the summer at Superstition Springs Center’s outdoor stage on Saturday, May 11.
An Arizona native, Macy recorded her first album at age 9 in Texas, with her follow-up three years later in Nashville. She graduated high school at age 14 and earned her AAS in music business by 2006.
She has spent her life on the road fronting bands and performing as much as she could. Her resume includes gigs at Country Thunder and opening for the likes of Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride and Neal McCoy. Macy also records and performs with KLME radio hosts Tim and Willy and their All Earl Band.
Her priority now is Desert Dixie, which allows her to show her musical chops. In the band, she is joined by bassist Gary Rivers, who has been playing since he was 15. He has recorded at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis.
Drummer Austin Scates got behind the skins for the first time at age 9. He played with local bands and toured with the Arizona Academy drum and bugle corps.
Lead guitarist Greg Ahmann is Desert Dixie’s newest member. After studying at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Ahmann teamed with local bands to lend his chops.
“We tried to find seasoned musicians who are also creative,” Macy said. “We just hand selected them, and it’s been a really good fit.”
Although Desert Dixie is technically a country act, it doesn’t restrict itself to a simple genre.
“We mix in everything from Carrie Underwood to Sublime—a little bit of everything,” Macy said. “We play so many types of venues and shows that we really customize the setlist according to the audience and the type of event.”
Before the two were a couple, Hubbell, who also grew up in Arizona, performed around the state as a solo act and was a finalist in the Young Guns contest at Country Thunder in 2004.
Desert Dixie will soon start a new chapter, creating new merchandise, branding and an online presence. Moreover, the group looks forward to producing new music by the end of 2020. Macy said Desert Dixie enjoys writing songs about love and heartbreak.
“We like the stuff that really makes you feel that emotion,” said Macy, who doubles as a make-up artist. Hubbell is a Realtor. They are the parents of two young girls.
According to Macy, the band looks forward to performing at their upcoming local shows and engaging with their fans.
Moreover, Desert Dixie seeks to play at more festivals and enjoy their time doing what they love.
“It’s always just going to be a passion of ours,” Macy said.