Dion Girl Friends

Dion – Girl Friends (Album Review)

dion 2024 music

One of the most prolific artists in Rock-n-Roll history, Dion DiMucci has built a career which has transcended over seven decades! Not a typographical error, DiMucci, known famously as Dion, began his journey all the way back in 1957 with his group Dion and the Belmonts. Striking it big with hits like 1958’s “I Wonder Why” and 1959’s “A Teenager in Love,” these songs would not only become golden classics, but only scratch the surface of Dion’s story. 

From here he would find even more expansive success as a solo artist; with the likes of 1961 mega hits “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer.” Rolling along through the ‘60s, he would then offer listeners even deeper introspect into his talents when recording “Abraham, Martin and John” in 1968. A song which still sends shivers down your spine all these decades later, it was really a pinnacle achievement in Dion’s career, because at this point, he had succeeded in Doo-wop, Rock, and Folk Rock.

All very fascinating, even more striking is Dion’s ability to expand his artistic palette even further… in most recent years focusing on Blues Rock. Starting with the 2006 album Bronx in Blue, Dion has earned himself one top charted Blues record after another, including back-to-back Number 1 Blues records; 2020’s Blues with Friends and 2021’s Stomping Ground. Each offering something a bit different, now in 2024 he does it again with the thoughtfully crafted Girl Friends.  

Released on March 8th through Keeping The Blues Alive Records, Girl Friends follows a specific theme where Dion teams up with a different lady for each track. A compelling concept, the women included Susan Tedeschi, Carlene Carter, Rory Block, Shemekia Copeland, Debbie Davis, Randi Fishenfeld, Sue Foley, Danielle Nicole, Christine Ohlman, Maggie Rose, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Valerie Tyson. All talented and accomplished in their own right, each of them bring something unique to each track, thus making for a stimulating, yet very varied listen.

In total twelve original songs written by Dion and Mike Aquilina, with the exception of “Hey Suz” written by Dion with the late Scott Kempner, there is an awful lot to dig into here. Very much a record to put on and let play out, some big highlights include “Soul Force,” with Susan Tedeschi, the irresistible “Do Ladies Get The Blues,” with both Christine Ohlman and Debbie Davis, but also the stunning “An American Hero,” with none other than Carlene Carter. This is while Maggie Rose shines brightly on “I Got Wise,” and Shemekia Copeland gives you some cool, sensual Soul vibes on “Mama Said.”

Overall, Dion continues to find new and exciting ways to present his music. Through collaboration and a sincere approach, he keeps you interested in everything he is doing even this far into the game. Also flexing his songwriting muscles and keeping them limber, Girl Friends sits right up there with other great Blues albums Dion has recorded in the past. Truly inspiring to see his vitality as he approaches 85 years old this coming July, Dion is truly an American Rock-n-Roll icon. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Girl Friends 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Dion - Girl Friends
Dion – Girl Friends/ Keeping The Blues Alive Records (2024)

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