Rock n' Roll pioneer Dion DiMucci's new album, Blues With Friends, has hit Number One on both the Billboard Blues Albums, and iTunes Blues Albums charts. The set, which was released earlier this month, has also topped the UK's Official Jazz & Blues Albums chart.
Joining the Bronx legend for the set are such heavyweights as Bruce Springsteen & Patti Scialfa, Paul Simon, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, Brian Setzer, Steve Van Zandt, Joe Bonamassa, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons
The album was issued via Bonamassa's new Keeping The Blues Alive Records imprint, which is an offshoot of Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation, Bonamassa’s non-profit that aims to conserve the art of music and the rich culture and history of the blues.
Dion said in a statement for the new album: “The blues have been at the heart of my music since the early 1960's. 'The Wanderer' is a twelve-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.”
Despite having his roots in street corner doo wop and country music, Dion says that the blues is his first love: “I have a phrase, I say 'It's the naked cry of the human heart apart from God.' The best way to define it is to pick up a guitar and do it, and it feels right in my soul.”
Although Dion is a card-carrying member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, he says that with enough practice, you might be able to fake being a rock singer — but with the blues, you've either got it or you don't: “I don't think you could learn how to sing the blues. I think you could learn how to sing rock and roll, but I don't think you could really learn how to sing the blues. Maybe I'm wrong — but it's something innate. Y'know, it's something.”