Found a surprise this weekend. Sometimes the recommendations in the music store give some interesting hits, like the one for old-time pop artist Dion. I’d only known him for the song Runaround Sue way back in the early 60s, but I guess he’s moved on to the blues in recent years. He’s no slouch.
The album is Tank Full of Blues, released in January, and it is just as the title says. The title track demonstrates Dion’s smooth vocals singing about a man hitting the road from one woman to another after being dumped. There’s a smooth transition into I Read It (In the Rolling Stone), a tribute to the news/rock magazine. It finishes with a poetry reading, a sort of testimony of Dion’s born-again Christian exposure. This kind of distracts from the blues experience, but throughout the album he plays some flawlessly skilled blues guitar, both electric and acoustic, and sings with maturity and passion,
There’s rock, Chicago and Delta influence in this album, so putting a tag on it is difficult, but it’s a smooth and polished aggregation showing Dion is a special musician who reaches across a wide musical spectrum. I’m told on Facebook that his Bronx In Blue may be his best stuff. I’ll have to have to check that one out.
[Update 2/22/2012] I grabbed Bronx In Blue this morning, and it is a very fine work, highly recommended if you enjoy Tank Full of Blues.