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Dion - Tank Full of Blues

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 16 / 2 / 2012

Dion - Tank Full of Blues
Label: Blue Horizon
Format: CD


Latest blues-based album from 50's star Dion that showcases his creativity, energy, freshness, exuberance and talent

For over fifty years Dion has never ceased making music and people have never stopped listening! He is one of the few first-generation rock'n'roll artists who have remained relevant and sustained an original, creative output through six decades! In his early years Dion was one of the American legends who helped define rock music. Originating on the mean streets of the Bronx, New York, Dion honed his guitar skills and style in tough bars and clubs. Traditional blues, R & B, doo-wop, rock'n'roll, Hank Williams and impromptu street corner a cappella performances were his early influences. Soon he had put together his first neighbourhood band, Dion and the Belmonts, and they were topping the US charts with classics like 'I Wonder Why', 'Where and When' as well as 'A Teenager In Love'. In 1959 Dion was with the Winter Dance Party tour and on the 3rd February he was scheduled to fly in the ill-fated plane that crashed, killing his fellow-headliners Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper – but he couldn't bear to pay the thirty six dollars fare, which was the cost of a month's rent for his parents. So Dion opted out and was the only one of the four to survive. Dion went solo in 1960 and had a string of hits which remain hallmarks of the golden age of rock – like 'The Wanderer', 'Ruby Baby', 'Drip Drop' and, later, 'Abraham, Martin and John'. He was Columbia Records' first rock'n'roll signing. Over time, Dion became more contemplative, rediscovering and adopting a range of styles – from gospel to blues. He was inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and has shared the stage with Dion fans like Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, all of whom have acknowledged Dion as a prime influence. But it is to the blues that Dion has now returned. 'Tank Full of Blues' is the latest in a trilogy of blues albums by Dion. The first album, 'Bronx in Blue', won Dion a Grammy. But this new album is different as its tracks are almost all Dion's own compositions - confirming his status as a serious creative force in contemporary American blues. As Dion comments, “I feel more relevant today than I did recording all my hits years ago. The songs keep coming to me. I find I have a lot to say and I enjoy taking people on a trip, a good trip, with the blues. I'd planned to record with a band on this album but the guitar work in my head needed to get out through my own fingers. So all the guitar playing is by me. In fact 'Tank Full Of Blues' is the album I consider the crown of my career. It's work I couldn't keep inside; work that was burning in me till I got it out.” Dion has his blues heroes - like Jimmy Reed who “made the world make sense to me” and Robert Johnson to whom the song 'Ride's Blues' is a tribute. The title track is particularly accomplished - in traditional classic blues style with great and original guitar work and powerful vocals from Dion. The second track, 'I Read It (in the Rolling Stone)', is equally evocative. In fact the whole album is impressive – and very evidently the work of a true disciple of the blues. A hugely rewarding listen!

Track Listing:-
1 Tank Full of Blues
2 I Read It (in the Rolling Stone)
3 Holly Brown
4 Ride's Blues (for Robert Johnson)
5 Two Train
6 Do You Love Me Baby
7 You Keep Me Cryin'
8 My Michelle
9 My Baby's Cryin'
10 I'm Ready to Go
11 Bronx Poem

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