Idioma disponible: inglésBridging the era between late-'50s rock and the British Invasion, Dion DiMucci (born July 18, 1939) was one of the top white rock singers of his time, blending the best elements of doo wop, teen idol, and R&B styles. Some revisionists have tried to cast him as a sort of early blue-eyed soul figure, although he was probably more aligned with pop/rock, at first as the lead singer of the Belmonts, and then as a solo star. Drug problems slowed him down in the mid-'60s, yet he made some surprisingly interesting progressions into blues-rock and folk-rock as the decade wore on, culminating in a successful comeback in the late '60s, although he was unable to sustain its commercial and artistic momentum for long. When Dion began recording in the late '50s, it was as the lead singer of a group of friends who sang on Bronx street corners. Billing themselves Dion & the Belmonts (Dion had released a previous single with the Timberlanes), their first few records were prime Italian-American doo wop; "I Wonder Why" was their biggest hit in this style. Dion's biggest single with the Belmonts was "A Teenager in Love," which pointed the way for the slightly self-pitying, pained odes to adolescence and early adulthood that would characterize much of his solo work. Dion went solo in 1960 (the Belmonts did some more doo wop recordings on their own), moving from doo wop to more R&B/pop-oriented tunes with great success. He handled himself with a suave, cocky ease on hits like "The Wanderer," "Runaround Sue," "Lovers Who Wander," "Ruby Baby," and "Donna the Prima Donna," which cast him as either the jilted, misunderstood youngster or the macho lover, capable of handling anything that came his way (especially on "The Wanderer"). In 1963, Dion moved from Laurie to the larger Columbia label, an association that started promisingly with a couple of big hits right off the bat, "Ruby Baby" and "Donna the Prima Donna." By the mid-'60s, his heroin habit (which he'd developed as a teenager) was getting the best of him, and he did little recording and performing for about five years. When he did make it into the studio, he was moving in some surprisingly bluesy directions; although much of it was overlooked or unissued at the time, it can be heard on the Bronx Blues reissue CD. In 1968, he kicked heroin and re-emerged as a gentle folk-rocker with a number four hit single, "Abraham, Martin and John." Dion would focus upon mature, contemporary material on his late-'60s and early-'70s albums, which were released to positive critical feedback, if only moderate sales. The folk phase didn't last long; in 1972 he reunited with the Belmonts and in the mid-'70s cut a disappointing record with Phil Spector as producer. He recorded and performed fairly often in the years that followed (sometimes singing Christian music), to indifferent commercial results. But his critical rep has risen steadily since the early '60s, with many noted contemporary musicians showering him with praise and citing his influence, such as Dave Edmunds (who produced one of his periodic comeback albums) and Lou Reed (who guested on that record). Dion continued to be active as the 21st century opened, releasing Déjà Nu in 2000, Under the Influence in 2005, and Bronx in Blue in 2006. His first major-label album since 1989's Yo Frankie, Son of Skip James was released by Verve in 2007, while 2008's Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock saw him tackling 15 songs from the classic rock & roll era. Influenced by a conversation with rock critic Dave Marsh about his long and still relevant career, and a dare from his wife Susan to prove it, Dion cut Tank Full of Blues, producing and playing the guitars himself on the recording and writing or co-writing all but one track on the set. Issued on Blue Horizon, it is the final recording in the trilogy that began with Bronx in Blue. Dion signed to Instant Records in 2015 and immediately set to recording a new studio album. Entitled New York Is My Home, its first single and title track -- a duet with Paul Simon -- was pre-released in November digitally and as a striking video. The album was issued in the winter of 2016. Then the singer/songwriter and Norton Records surprised everyone. In 1965, DiMucci was signed to Columbia, and had cut 15 new songs -- all produced by Tom Wilson, who was recording Bob Dylan in the same studios at roughly the same time -- for an album that the label, for whatever reason, decided not to release. Dion left the label over the decision. Some tracks were issued on singles, others later on various compilations. But for over 50 years, the tapes sat. That's where Norton's Miriam Linna and Billy Miller came in. They received the rights to release the entire record as it was originally intended, completely remastered from the original tapes. Featuring ten originals, one by Mort Shuman (who had co-written "Teenager in Love" with Doc Pomus for Dion & the Belmonts), and three by Dylan (who had been enamored with Dion since the '50s). Though Miller passed before it was issued, Kickin' Child: The Lost Columbia Album 1965 was released by the label in May.
© Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Publicado el 5 de junio de 2020 | KTBA Records
Bruce Springsteen resumió perfectamente el caso de Dion DiMucci: es el vínculo entre Frank Sinatra y el rock’n’roll. Desde los años 50 y 60 con los Belmonts, los verdaderos Rolls Royce del doo-wop, hasta su carrera en solitario, el cantante del Bronx siempre ha sido inseparable de Nueva York, como nos recordó su álbum de 2016, el acertadamente llamado New York Is My Home. La Gran Manzana, entonces, pero también el blues, un género que a menudo ha abordado de manera muy personal. Este blues está en el corazón de Blues With Friends, título igualmente certero.... ¡Y qué amigos! El Boss y su esposa Patti Scialfa, pero también Jeff Beck, Paul Simon, Billy Gibbons, Brian Setzer, Van Morrison, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Bonamassa, John Hammond, Sonny Landreth, Rory Block, Stevie Van Zandt... Es difícil hacer una lista más impresionante. Prueba clara del aura de Dion, todavía intacta a sus 80 años... “Quería un álbum de canciones fuertes y memorables e historias que valiera la pena contar. El blues ha estado en el corazón de mi música desde principios de los sesenta. The Wanderer era un blues de 12 compases y yo ya hacía versiones de Willie Dixon y Jimmy Reed cuando empecé en Columbia, para consternación de mis jefes.” A pesar del ecléctico elenco de invitados, Dion sigue siendo él mismo a lo largo y ancho de esta cosecha del 2020, editada por Keeping The Blues Alive Records, el sello de Bonamassa, y sus colaboradores están completamente en sintonía con su visión. Los años han quemado ligeramente su mágica voz, que ahora se adhiere aún mejor al idioma del blues, un género que debe manejarse con cuidado, como escribe Bob Dylan en las notas del disco. Un blues nunca desconectado de la vida cotidiana, como en Song for Sam Cooke (Here in America), un poderoso dúo con Paul Simon sobre la segregación en el sur de los Estados Unidos a principios de los 60, que resuena con fuerza cuando América se enciende de nuevo, coincidiendo en el tiempo con el lanzamiento de este elegante Blues With Friends. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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