If I Had Possession (Over Judgement Day) (Robert Johnson)
Devil Got My Woman (Skip James)
The legendary voice behind such iconic classics as "The Wanderer", "Runaround Sue" and "Abraham, Martin & John", returns with a stunning follow up to Bronx in Blue his 2006 GRAMMY® nominee for Best Traditional Blues Album!... more » Son of Skip James pays tribute to the works of seminal artists from both blues (Robert Johnson, Skip James, Willie Dixon, etc.) and rock (Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan) plus new Dion originals including the arresting title track. With impressive acoustic guitar skills and a vocal prowess still unparalleled in the history of popular music, Dion infuses this roots based material with his unique blend of doo-wop, rock n' roll and blues sensibilities. A musical lesson in cutting straight to the heart from one of the masters!« less
The legendary voice behind such iconic classics as "The Wanderer", "Runaround Sue" and "Abraham, Martin & John", returns with a stunning follow up to Bronx in Blue his 2006 GRAMMY® nominee for Best Traditional Blues Album! Son of Skip James pays tribute to the works of seminal artists from both blues (Robert Johnson, Skip James, Willie Dixon, etc.) and rock (Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan) plus new Dion originals including the arresting title track. With impressive acoustic guitar skills and a vocal prowess still unparalleled in the history of popular music, Dion infuses this roots based material with his unique blend of doo-wop, rock n' roll and blues sensibilities. A musical lesson in cutting straight to the heart from one of the masters!
"Fans of Dion's previous acoustic blues album Bronx In Blue will certainly want to check out his new CD: Son Of Skip James. Sticking to a similar formula as that aforementioned record, this time around we're treated to a broader palette of musical instruments to help flesh out the the sound of the tracks within. Here, harmonica, organ and piano--both electric and acoustic--spice up the guitar and percussion backing to great effect. Highlights include a fairly straight cover of Chuck Berry's "Nadine," one of the few tracks on the album that strays slightly from the traditional blues format; "My Babe"--written by Willie Dixon and made famous by Little Walter--with its infectious riff; a stripped-down take of Bob Dylan's "Baby, I'm In The Mood For You," which Dion himself first recorded for Columbia in 1965; and a searing, dueling-acoustics version of Robert Johnson's "If I Had Possession (Over Judgment Day)," probably my own personal fave on the CD!
Another surprise here is The Thunderer--a song based on a Phyllis McGinley verse that tells the story of Catholic Saint Jerome, the man who "translated the Bible." It has the same melodic feel as some of Dion's best work, primarily due to a tasteful--almost 70's style--electric piano backing. And, for those who might normally bristle somewhat at the thought of a record that contains an overt religious stamp or two (i.e. usually me!), fear not, it all works here, standing side-by-side with the broader themes of faith and redemption that permeate the framework of the blues in general. Furthermore, it's simply another side of the same artist who previously recorded a string of gospel albums during the 1980's.
Special mention needs to be made once again regarding Dion's (underrated IMO) acoustic guitar playing and timeless vocals. His finger-picking is front and center on songs such as Tommy McClennan's "I'm A Guitar King," while his overall range and effortless phrasing show him to be as vocally nimble as ever--bending, turning and soaring at every curve with the greatest of ease! At age 68, he's showing no signs of wear or tear.
Overall, an even stronger record than the Grammy® nominated Bronx In Blue, with richer colors and more variety. Highly recommended!"
The blue Bornx man is back!!!
Samuel B. King | Concord, NH | 11/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this in a local store and, based on his last album, snapped it up. This "blues" run of albums is similar to the late Muddy Waters' set on Blue Sky with Johnny Winter during the '70s. Why? Because, although the sound is different, in both cases you have a great singer revisiting older songs and, in the process, rejuvinating himself. In the case of Dion, its even more striking (and magical). The liner notes describe how Dion was always influenced by acoustic blues and how he would begin his sound checks with a Robert Johnson number. Hearing this, one should, indeed, go back to his early recordings with the Belmonts (it, indeed, might be a short jump from Delta Blues to manhattan do-wop and '50s vocal groups). Interesting! I must admit I liked Bornx in Blue better (more instruments on this one makes it less special). However, apart from a few questionable war horses (do we REALLY need another version of Hoochie Coochie man? - and Johnson's "Judgement Day" sounds too much like Slowhand's version of a few years ago). These small points aside (the answer in this case is, YES, we can stand to hear additional versions of both of those songs, if sung by someone like Dion). He hits a home run again! Tasteful acoustic guitar, springled with blues piano and a crack rhythm section, Dion has a talent for evoking a mood and making it endure the entire length of an album. In spite of what I said above about "war horses", you gotta love his rendition of "Nadine"! Hey, Dion, cut another one (live, in a club?), and make it a trilogy!!! Well done!!!!!!!!!!"
"Son of Skip James", this is the real deal here.
Tim Gabriel | Western PA, USA | 05/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1991 I picked up Dion's latest CD at the time titled "Bronx Blues: The Columbia Recordings". It is a collection of his songs from 1962-1965. Yes it includes "Ruby Baby" and "Donna the Prima Donna" but toward the end of the 20 song CD I found myself listening to Dion sing the blues on "Spoonful" and "The Seventh Son". So this dude with the Bronx chops (who sang with the "Belmont's" in the late 50's) has been singing the blues since he picked up the guitar? This was a new revelation for me.
Fast forward to 2006, finally, Dion records a blues album titled "Bronx in Blue". It's a masterpiece. And we are talking acoustic blues not electric. Just read the reviews on it. And now, I finally bought and listened to "Son of Skip James". I thought, how could "Bronx in Blue" be topped? Well let me tell you, Dion topped it.
Dion Dimucci, his vocals have never sounded better and his acoustic guitar playing brings life to the blues. "Son of Skip James", this is the real deal here. "
Surprise of the year for me
Jack | Phoenix, Azerbaijan | 05/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a surprise! I've always been a Dion & the Belmonts fan, since I was born in the Bronx. I've been a blues fanatic since I heard Lightnin' Hopkins singing "Rocky Mountain Blues" on WWRL while sitting in my car in Brooklyn in 1965.
Lately, I've drifted off into jazz, primarily the seminal bop of Thelonious and Miles and Bird. Made me wish the Beatles and the Stones hadn't come on when they did, so I might have been able to focus on those giants of jazz when they were still playing in the NY clubs (well, not Bird, but so many of the rest.)
Back to Dion. I still get a charge in my heart when I hear the opening beats of "Wanderer." And I'll always recall the dirty lyrics we substituted for parts of "Runaround Sue."
I didn't know about Dion's previous blues album, which is why I was so dam surprised when "Son of Skip James" showed up. I am so stoked by that record I'm going to take it to California tomorrow and give it to my 23 year old guitar-playing son and hope he gets a charge out of it. Would I love it if, when he comes home from school in a few weeks, he was playing one or two of the songs from the record.
"The Thunderer" is a magnificent piece of religious music. I can tell you for sure that the Catholic churches would be a lot more crowded if that was the kind of music you could hear at Mass on Sunday.
Now I got to get the earlier record. What a turn-on for me and everyone who is lucky enough to hear this terrific artist from the streetcorners of New York."
I'm lovin it !!
Mary A. Kelly | illinois | 01/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dion's Son of Skip James...all I can say is WOW !! Love the blues, and he does it right! I am 62 years old, and this album gets me up and dancing again! The voice, the EVERYTHING..Dion, why didn't you do this before? It's perfect, a really great C.D., you won't be sorry you ordered it !!"