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Dion – Son of Skip James
CD Review by Ray D'Ariano
/ 12/2007


Track listing
1. Nadine 2. My Babe 3. Hoodoo Man Blues 4. Drop Down Mama 5. Hoochie Coochie Man
6. Baby I'm In The Mood For You 7. I'm A Guitar King 8. The Thunderer
9. Interlude - Dylan Story 10. Son of Skip James 11. Preachin' Blues
12. If I Had Possession (Over Judgment Day) 13. Devil Got My Woman

Label: Verve Forecast / Release date:
November 6, 2007


Here's the thing of it all, see when Dion was a young dude nobody was cooler than him, ok? Even the Beatles, who were the mop tops and all that, but were never really cool in the sense of effortless perfection just by being, if you know what I mean….even those cats put Dion on the Pepper cover. That was cool. So now Dion is in his late 60's, and guess what? He's cooler than he ever was. I mean, the man is ice smooth.

Back then "The Wanderer" was the coolest record in the world. That was the best he could come up with at that age and point in his life. Today, this new CD, "Son of Skip James" is the coolest record in the world. Go ahead think about it. You can't come up with one that's cooler.
This is Dion's follow up to his 2006 Grammy nominated "Bronx in Blue," and the next musical chapter in his stunning career.

Now this cat Skip James is one of several blues and rock artists the king of the New York Streets salutes on this collection. Sure he's got several originals in there, but he also pays homage to Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon, and Chuck Berry as well.

With a touch of doo-wop and his amazing acoustic guitar, he creates arresting new interpretations of some really fantastic tunes. What you have is one of America's all-time great voices breathing newness into some very old gems, and check out his pickin' on "I'm A Guitar King." The man can play.

"Nadine" never sounded better, and if you think Chuck Berry ain't the blues, think again. In fact he may very well be the major link between the blues and what became known as rock and roll.
"My Babe"was written by Willie Dixon and Little Walter is the cat who made it popular. Dixon to Walter to Dion…. one listen and the connection makes perfect sense.

Dylan songs usually always sound great no matter who is interpreting them, and Dion brings "Baby I'm In the Mood for You" to a new level. It is brilliant in it's simplicity.

Up until I heard this CD I never knew anything about Saint Jerome. When you hear Dion's vocal with the electric piano backing and the lyric "Cared not a dime for laws of libel, in his spare time translated the Bible," you think this Saint Jerome was some awesome dude. No wonder they made "God's angry man" a saint. This is a great tune and reminds me of something Dylan would write in the "You Gotta Serve Somebody' bag. Killer cut!

By the way, on the CD Dion tells an interesting anecdote about when Dylan played for Pope John Paul. The Pope's comments on "Blowin' In The Wind' are profound, but you'll have to listen to the CD to hear them.

Coolest CD out there. You gotta get one.