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Son Of Skip James

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Audio CD, November 6, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

The legendary voice behind such iconic classics as. The Wanderer, Runaround Sue and Abraham, Martin & John, returns with a stunning follow up to Bronx in Blue his 2006 GRAMMYr nominee for Best Traditional Blues Album! Son of Skip James pays tribute to the works of seminal artists from both blues (Robert Johnson, Skip James, Willie Dixon, etc.) and rock (Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan) plus new Dion originals including the arresting title track. With impressive acoustic guitar skills (check out his signature guitar on and a vocal prowess still unparalleled in the history of popular music, Dion infuses this roots based material with his unique blend of doo-wop, rock n' roll and blues sensibilities. A musical lesson in cutting straight to the heart from one of the masters!

1. Nadine (Chuck Berry)
2. My Babe (Willie Dixon)
3. Hoodoo Man Blues (Junior Wells)
4. Drop Down Mama ("Sleepy" John Estes)
5. Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon)
6. Baby I'm In the Mood For You (Bob Dylan)
7. I'm A Guitar King (Tom McClennan)
8. The Thunderer (Dion DiMucci-Phyllis McGinley)
9. Interlude - Spoken Word (Dion DiMucci)
10. Son of Skip James (Dion DiMucci)
11. Preachin' Blues (Robert Johnson)
12. If I Had Possession (Over Judgement Day) (Robert Johnson)
13. Devil Got My Woman (Skip James)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • ASIN: B000WCDI5A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,683 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David R. Modny on October 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Fans of Dion's previous acoustic blues album Bronx In Blue will certainly want to check out his new CD: Son Of Skip James. Sticking to a similar formula as that aforementioned record, this time around we're treated to a broader palette of musical instruments to help flesh out the the sound of the tracks within. Here, harmonica, organ and piano--both electric and acoustic--spice up the guitar and percussion backing to great effect. Highlights include a fairly straight cover of Chuck Berry's "Nadine," one of the few tracks on the album that strays slightly from the traditional blues format; "My Babe"--written by Willie Dixon and made famous by Little Walter--with its infectious riff; a stripped-down take of Bob Dylan's "Baby, I'm In The Mood For You," which Dion himself first recorded for Columbia in 1965; and a searing, dueling-acoustics version of Robert Johnson's "If I Had Possession (Over Judgment Day)," probably my own personal fave on the CD!

Another surprise here is The Thunderer--a song based on a Phyllis McGinley verse that tells the story of Catholic Saint Jerome, the man who "translated the Bible." It has the same melodic feel as some of Dion's best work, primarily due to a tasteful--almost 70's style--electric piano backing. And, for those who might normally bristle somewhat at the thought of a record that contains an overt religious stamp or two (i.e. usually me!), fear not, it all works here, standing side-by-side with the broader themes of faith and redemption that permeate the framework of the blues in general. Furthermore, it's simply another side of the same artist who previously recorded a string of gospel albums during the 1980's.

Special mention needs to be made once again regarding Dion's (underrated IMO) acoustic guitar playing and timeless vocals.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Samuel B. King on November 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I saw this in a local store and, based on his last album, snapped it up. This "blues" run of albums is similar to the late Muddy Waters' set on Blue Sky with Johnny Winter during the '70s. Why? Because, although the sound is different, in both cases you have a great singer revisiting older songs and, in the process, rejuvinating himself. In the case of Dion, its even more striking (and magical). The liner notes describe how Dion was always influenced by acoustic blues and how he would begin his sound checks with a Robert Johnson number. Hearing this, one should, indeed, go back to his early recordings with the Belmonts (it, indeed, might be a short jump from Delta Blues to manhattan do-wop and '50s vocal groups). Interesting! I must admit I liked Bornx in Blue better (more instruments on this one makes it less special). However, apart from a few questionable war horses (do we REALLY need another version of Hoochie Coochie man? - and Johnson's "Judgement Day" sounds too much like Slowhand's version of a few years ago). These small points aside (the answer in this case is, YES, we can stand to hear additional versions of both of those songs, if sung by someone like Dion). He hits a home run again! Tasteful acoustic guitar, springled with blues piano and a crack rhythm section, Dion has a talent for evoking a mood and making it endure the entire length of an album. In spite of what I said above about "war horses", you gotta love his rendition of "Nadine"! Hey, Dion, cut another one (live, in a club?), and make it a trilogy!!! Well done!!!!!!!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tim Gabriel on May 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In 1991 I picked up Dion's latest CD at the time titled "Bronx Blues: The Columbia Recordings". It is a collection of his songs from 1962-1965. Yes it includes "Ruby Baby" and "Donna the Prima Donna" but toward the end of the 20 song CD I found myself listening to Dion sing the blues on "Spoonful" and "The Seventh Son". So this dude with the Bronx chops (who sang with the "Belmont's" in the late 50's) has been singing the blues since he picked up the guitar? This was a new revelation for me.

Fast forward to 2006, finally, Dion records a blues album titled "Bronx in Blue". It's a masterpiece. And we are talking acoustic blues not electric. Just read the reviews on it. And now, I finally bought and listened to "Son of Skip James". I thought, how could "Bronx in Blue" be topped? Well let me tell you, Dion topped it.

Dion Dimucci, his vocals have never sounded better and his acoustic guitar playing brings life to the blues. "Son of Skip James", this is the real deal here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jack on May 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
What a surprise! I've always been a Dion & the Belmonts fan, since I was born in the Bronx. I've been a blues fanatic since I heard Lightnin' Hopkins singing "Rocky Mountain Blues" on WWRL while sitting in my car in Brooklyn in 1965.

Lately, I've drifted off into jazz, primarily the seminal bop of Thelonious and Miles and Bird. Made me wish the Beatles and the Stones hadn't come on when they did, so I might have been able to focus on those giants of jazz when they were still playing in the NY clubs (well, not Bird, but so many of the rest.)

Back to Dion. I still get a charge in my heart when I hear the opening beats of "Wanderer." And I'll always recall the dirty lyrics we substituted for parts of "Runaround Sue."

I didn't know about Dion's previous blues album, which is why I was so dam surprised when "Son of Skip James" showed up. I am so stoked by that record I'm going to take it to California tomorrow and give it to my 23 year old guitar-playing son and hope he gets a charge out of it. Would I love it if, when he comes home from school in a few weeks, he was playing one or two of the songs from the record.

"The Thunderer" is a magnificent piece of religious music. I can tell you for sure that the Catholic churches would be a lot more crowded if that was the kind of music you could hear at Mass on Sunday.

Now I got to get the earlier record. What a turn-on for me and everyone who is lucky enough to hear this terrific artist from the streetcorners of New York.
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