Album: Dion <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Bronx in Blue, SPV BLUE
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The Independent Culture

Dion DiMucci was always one of the more soulful of early white rock'n'rollers, so it's appropriate that he should get to reveal his blues roots on this album. Set to stripped-down acoustic guitar arrangements showcasing his dextrous fingerpicking, the covers here range from country-blues material by the likes of Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell to muscular Chicago blues made famous by such as Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley. Dion's version of "Crossroads" is slinkier than Clapton's take on the Johnson song, allowing his authoritative voice to carry the emotion while the guitar sets up a drone; a similarly basic, hypnotic approach is applied to the classic Diddley-beat of "Who Do You Love?", although his attempts at Wolf standards such as "How Many More Years" and "Built For Comfort" are too lightweight. Elsewhere, McTell's "Statesboro Blues", best known in the Allman Brothers' rock version, is returned to something like its original, haunting cast, while a bluesy cover of Hank Williams's "Honky Tonk Blues" affirms the old truism about country music being the white man's blues.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Who Do You Love?', 'Crossroads', 'Statesboro Blues'