Title - 'New York Is My Home'
Artist - Dion
This very same month of February 2016, the great Dion, one of the truly original rockers, will release a brand new album entitled New York Is My Home. For the title track, the doo-wop legend called in another fellow native New Yorker with an ear for harmony, Paul Simon, but that's just one of the tracks worth cocking an ear to, trust me.
For nearly six decades after his first hit, Dion's real deal voice having lost absolutely nothing, the King of the Bronx teams here with producer/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Vivino on 10 tracks, all but two of them co-written by Dion.
For those not in the know - and shame on you if you are one of those people, Dion Francis DiMucci, better known everywhere (in and outside of the music business) simply as Dion, is an American singer-songwriter whose work has incorporated elements of doo-wop, rock and R&B styles—and, most recently, straight blues.
Indeed, he was one of the most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British Invasion era. He had more than a dozen Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 60s, but will always be best remembered for the 1961 singles, "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer", written with Ernie Maresca.
1. 'Aces Up Your Sleeve'
2. 'Can't Go Back To Memphis'
3. 'New York Is My Home' [featuring Paul Simon]
4. 'The Apollo King'
5. 'Katie Mae'
6. 'I'm Your Gangster of Love'
7. 'Ride With You'
8. 'I'm All Rocked Up'
9. 'Visionary Heart'
10. 'I Ain't For It'
The opening track, 'Aces Up My Sleeve' is a fun, foot tappin' way to kick this incredible new album off with, that that is backed by both the slide guitar down south blues swell of 'Can't Go Back To Memphis' before the stand out highlight of the album, his title track duet with the one, the only Paul Simon on 'New York Is My Home.' Now, don't go expecting a full of vocal duet here, for Simon steps back into the gentle harmonized backing vocals only, always (for the most part) allowing Dion to shine in the spotlight. It's a stunning, truly beautiful love letter to the Big Apple by two of its favorite sons [Simon is from Queens; Dion from the Bronx].
Next up is the Chuck Berry-esque 'The Apollo King' which is actually Dion's homage to first hearing saxophonist Big Al Sears at the local temple of R&B, and that is backed by both the deep down, dirty blues trench work of the Lightnin' Hopkins cover 'Katie Mae,' and then a matter-of-fact anthem-rousing 'I'm Your Gangster of Love.'
Next up from the man who was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for 'Runaround Sue' in October 2009, and who also performed 'The Wanderer' with Paul Simon at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert in 2009, is 'Ride With You.' Complete with a deeply throaty revving motorcycle engine the cut is pure Dion and hearkens back to the days of when he first made music; in simpler times. To be honest, the same easy going aspect to writing great lyrics that speak to us all is evident in all the tracks, especially the fun of 'I'm All Rocked Up.'
As the album, sadly, comes to a close, we next get the mid-tempo storytelling of 'Visionary Heart,' complete with a Hank Williams shout out, and that's followed by the final track on this divine new album, the old school rock and roll blues of 'I Ain't For It.' In closing, well, this album shows us that Dion has lost absolutely nothing with regard his song writing and vocals skills, and for that we are sure Blessed to have this new recording in our midst today. Once you listen to it I hope you feel the same way too.