Title - 'Blues With Friends'
Artist - Dion
Blues With Friends, the new studio album of blues originals from Dion, is packed with a great batch of songs written during a productive time coming off his latest release.
When the legendary Joe Bonamassa was eager to be involved, it inspired Dion, who turns 81 on July 18th, to invite others to join the project. He says, "I wanted the best musicians alive like Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and more to take them in unexpected directions. Wayne Hood, my producer, brought out the best of them."
1. 'Blues Comin' On' (with Joe Bonamassa)
2. 'Kickin' Child' (with Joe Menza)
3. 'Uptown Number 7' (with Brian Setzer)
4. 'Can't Start Over Again' (with Jeff Beck)
5. 'My Baby Loves To Boogie' (with John Hammond)
6. 'I Got Nothin' (with Van Morrison & Joe Louis Walker)
7. 'Stumbling Blues' (with Jimmy & Jerry Vivino)
8. 'Bam Bang Boom' (with Billy Gibbons)
9. 'I Got The Cure' (with Sonny Landreth)
10. 'Song For Sam Cooke (Here In America)' (with Paul Simon)
11. 'What If I Told You' (with Samantha Fish)
12. 'Told You Once In August' (with John Hammond & Rory Block)
13. 'Way Down (I Won't Cry No More)' (with Stevie Van Zandt)
14. 'Hymn To Him' (with Patti Scialfa & Bruce Springsteen)
Released this past June 5th, 2020 via KTBA Records (a new label, started by Bonamassa and his manager Roy Weisman, that is an offshoot of Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation), this terrific album opens with the pulsating blues rock of 'Blues Comin’ On' (featuring Joe Bonamassa) and backs that up with the two-step boogie of 'Kickin' Child' (featuring Joe Menza), the finger-snappin' funk, and old-fashioned Gospel number in the style of the Golden Gate Quartet, of 'Uptown Number 7' (featuring Brian Setzer's rockabilly riffs), and then the tempo is brought down for the mid-tempo, country blues ballad 'Can’t Start Over Again' (featuring Jeff Beck).
Next up is the down south, harmonica-driven 'My Baby Loves To Boogie' (featuring John Hammond), which is backed by some lowdown and funky guitar grooves within 'I Got Nothin’ (featuring Van Morrison and Joe Louis Walker), with one of my own personal favorites, the lush evenflow of 'Stumbling Blues' (featuring both Jimmy and Jerry Vivino) along next.
The swamp shuffle blues rock of 'Bam Bang Boom' (featuring Billy Gibbons, a song about Dion meeting his wife) is then backed by both the upbeat and rapturous 'I Got The Cure' (featuring Sonny Landreth), and then the simply exquisite Americana folk hipsway 'Song For Sam Cooke (Here In America)' (a duet featuring Paul Simon) is brought forth.
'What If I Told You' featuring Samantha Fish is a lovely Summer's day breeze of a track and that's followed by 'Told You Once In August' (a foot-tappin', steel guitar, porch-swayin' get together of raw Delta blues, featuring both John Hammond and Rory Block), with the album coming to a close on mid-tempo rock of 'Way Down (I Won’t Cry No More)' (featuring Stevie Van Zandt), and then the Americana storytelling of 'Hymn To Him' (featuring the layered vocals of Patti Scialfa, and a beautiful, soulful guitar solo from Bruce Springsteen).
"I wanted an album of songs that were strong and memorable and told stories that were worth telling<" Dion further explains. "The blues have been at the heart of my music since the early 1960s."
"‘The Wanderer’ is a 12-bar blues and I was covering Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed in my early years at Columbia — much to the dismay of my corporate masters.”
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