I blogged recently about Dion Dimucci. This post covers some of the exceptional music done by him and the Belmonts.
Dion. King of the New York Streets
This 3 CD set of features Dion with the Belmonts, then later on his own. His work here spans thirty years and a multitude of styles. For example, his version of “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix is so different from the original that it takes some time until you realize what the song is. And the arrangement works. “Abraham, Martin and John”, written 20 minutes after RFK was assassinated, was his biggest hit. While the spotlight may have fallen off him, he continues to record excellent music, and the third CD in the set includes his recent work.
Dion. Bronx in Blue
Released in 2006, this acoustic blues CD covers blues classics and Hank Williams as well, and was nominated for two Grammys.
On his website Dion says he grew up listening to blues and Hank Williams because there was no rock and roll then and how that, decades later, led to Bronx in Blue.
Black music, filtered through an Italian neighborhood, comes out with an attitude. Rock & Roll. Yo! The music on this CD was the undercurrent of every song I did: Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, even the foot stomping on Ruby Baby I got from John Lee Hooker’s Walkin’ Boogie.
The Belmonts. Cigars, Acappella, Candy (1971)
This stunning gem features the Belmonts singing acappella, without instrumental accompaniment. Songs include doo wop classics, George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”, and ends with a 14-song medley showstopper, “Street Corner Symphony.”
Dion and the Belmonts. Reunion Madison Square Garden ’72
A reviewer at the time said, “this wasn’t a reunion concert, it was a religious experience.” The audience was remarkable and Dion and the Belmonts responded in kind.