REVIEW: Dion “Stomping Ground”


Dion – Stomping Ground

No way on God’s good earth an 82-year-old man sounds this incredible.

Yet, Dion DiMucci — class of 1957 along with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino & Little Richard is righteously a survivor & has a CD that percolates in 2021. An exceptional LP (already #1 on the Billboard blues chart) with nostalgic guitar runs & barrelhouse piano bursts.

I get emotional because I was a 10-year-old in 1962 buying Dion 45’s in a NJ record store (Jochems). Now I’m still buying new Dion music today & writing about it. What a trip.

Inducted by Lou Reed into the R&R Hall of Fame (1989), Dion went through many phases & even influenced The Velvet Underground leader with his doo-wop (with The Belmonts), R&R (“The Wanderer,” “Runaround Sue,” “Ruby Baby,” “Donna the Prima Donna” & more) & cool style.

Dion turned toward Christian music, ballads (the hit “Abraham, Martin & John”), & a dip into what would come: “Daddy Rollin.’” The 1989 reset came with the Dave Edmunds produced “Yo Frankie,” & the great song “King of the New York Streets.”

Eventually, Dion’s elixir spilled from a bottle of blues: “Bronx In Blue,” (2006), “Son of Skip James,” (2007), “Tankful of Blues,” (2011), “New York Is My Home,” (2016) & the critically-acclaimed “Blues With Friends,” (2020).

Now Stomping Ground (Available Now–Keeping the Blues Alive) filled with sparkling guest spots shows Dion not merely cruising; he vocally sounds supernatural with a rich authoritative rock voice. His intonation, phrasing, timbre, & tonality color each song. The chemistry with his guests is mutual reverence. Dion believes in what he does.


The 14-cuts are performed with fluid expertise by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons (“My Stomping Ground”), Bruce Springsteen & Patti Scialfa, Boz Scaggs, Eric Clapton (“If You Wanna Rock ‘n Roll”), G.E. Smith, Jimmy Vivino, Joe Bonamassa, Keb’Mo’, Marcia Ball, Mark Knopfler, Peter Frampton (“There Was a Time” great cut), Rickie Lee Jones, Sonny Landreth & Wayne Hood. An arresting savvy exciting blues blend.

Is the blues dead? Not in the hands of Dion & his children.

Recorded with clarity the band sustains the genre without exception. He inspires the best from every player. I believe the musicians despite their own well-established legacies are going to tell their grandchildren that they played with Dion. His image is one of a few rock artists on the front cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s LP.

There’s the magical voice of the greaser from Tupelo, Elvis, the spit & polish suave diversity of multi-instrumentalist Bobby Darin & then the smooth R&R attitude of Dion. Both from the Bronx. Dion’s one of the legendary performers still recording & performing. The only one left with a 2021 LP on the charts. Darin & Presley would be proud of Dion DiMucci. So is the 10-year old boy from 1962.

Color image by: David Godlis. The 1 hour 6-minute CD was produced by Dion & Wayne Hood. Available @ Amazon + https://diondimucci.com/


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