I can't even remember why I'd been browsing Dion on Amazon. I'd intended to check him out a while back after hearing his early 'I Was Born To Cry' on an ACE (UK) sampler and being knocked out by his powerful voice, but never got around to it. Anyhow browsing Dion on Amazon I was and came across this CD. I played the samples, checked a little further on All-Music Guide and bought it and it's just absolutely amazing.
Dion has a marvellous voice for rock and blues (though he started with doo-wop with the Belmonts in the pre-Beatles era) which hasn't diminished despite his age (he was in his late 60's when this was recorded). What it is is a collection of blues standards. What it also is is a collection arranged so that the songs sound so fresh and new it's as if you've never heard them before. Dion brings new life to songs any Blues fan will have heard a thousand times by dozens of different artists. He also presents them in an uncluttered manner, mostly just acoustic guitar, keyboards, and percussion. He throws in a couple of his own songs, both good though 'The Thunderer', an unusual piece about Saint Jerome, is outstanding.
This is an outstanding album, played and sung with deceptive ease by a vastly experienced and skilled artist. I can't recommended this highly enough to anyone who loves good modern music, Blues fan or not.
on 30 November 2007
I heard the title track on the radio, sounded great. Heard the album being played in Borders, fantastic. Bought it, played it and it is brilliant. This man can sing the blues. Great singer, Great music. I urge you to buy it now.
on 17 January 2008
I bought the vinyl 'Sanctuary' in the seventies played it a lot and really enjoyed it, then for some reason neglected my interest in Dion until 2007. If like me during the Sixties drifted from Chuck Berry into Roots & Blues via the Pye International label which featured a lot of American Blues Artist's. Your going to really like this Album as Dion cover's many of those old Blues numbers you'll recognize immediately, it's one of those Albums you play again straight away just for the sheer enjoyment. Included is one of his own compositions 'The Thunderer' a tune about St Jerome showing he can still construct a good song, a little religious maybe, but then many Old Blues songs were. Track 9 though is a little spoken Interlude from Dion which I think could have been omitted, our American Cousins always seem to want to get some religious or political point over, these 37 seconds the only down side, otherwise it deserves a top rating, buy it you'll like it!
on 7 March 2008
One of the best blues albums of the year from Dion, with some stunning covers and a really well produced feel that draws you in. Many favourites on here, but particularly his cover of Hoodoo Man Blues and Judgement Day, but there is very little to fault.
In a word - excellent. Take a listen!