Rock N’ Roll legend Dion releases new track and music video for the song “Bam Bang Boom” featuring lead guitar from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, from his upcoming album, Blues With Friends out June 5th on Joe Bonamassa’s new label, KTBA Records.
“Billy Gibbons was a joy to work with on this,” says Dion. “He’s a true renaissance man. I love the way he communicates with a guitar and in conversation. There’s nobody like him.”
Blues With Friends features 14 original songs with special guests including Billy Gibbons, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Beck, Paul Simon, Joe Bonamassa, Van Morrison, Brian Setzer, Sonny Landreth, Joe Louis Walker, Samantha Fish, Stevie Van Zandt, Rory Block, Sonny Landreth, and many more.
Dion’s Blues With Friends CD represents the fulfillment of a lifelong vision. Dion explains the album’s impetus, “I wanted an album of songs that were strong and memorable and told stories that were worth telling.” His songwriting efforts were supported by a cadre of great players, each of whom jumped at the chance to collaborate with a music legend they think of in heroic terms. He’s quick to point out just how enduring this creative relationship has been, “The blues have been at the heart of my music since the early 1960s. ‘The Wanderer’ is a twelve-bar blues and I was covering Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed in my early years at Columbia — much to the dismay of my corporate masters.” That’s the way it’s long been for the man Lou Reed inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than thirty years ago.
Stream and Download “Bam Bang Boom”
As one of the very few first-generation rock ‘n’ rollers still seriously pursing new avenues of expression, Dion’s Bronx soul is very much in evidence on this new album, a full-tilt blues offering. The blues songs therein are not “covers” nor Dion’s versions of blues standards. These compositions are, in fact, blues originals, destined to become classics in their own right. He came up with the music and words for twelve of them and finished those with co-writer Mike Aquilina. The two exceptions are “Hymn To Him” which Dion wrote with Bill Tuohy and “Kickin’ Child,” written with Buddy Lucas.
To tell those stories, Dion recruited help from a few notable friends and admirers. He thought, “I needed to round up the best guitarists and musicians alive and pick them from every generation, every variation of blues.” And that’s just what he did, surrounding himself with those who feel the blues spirit as he does.
Dion’s Blues With Friends will be released on June 5th through Keeping The Blues Alive Records, a new label started by Joe Bonamassa and his manager Roy Weisman and is an offshoot of Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation, Bonamassa’s non-profit that aims to conserve the art of music and the rich culture and history of the blues. The label’s objective is to provide a platform for musical talent in blues and blues-rock based music and to help encourage the careers of extraordinary musical talent. 10% of all profits from the label will be donated back to the Non-Profit for promoting music education to students and schools in need.
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