Dion Francis DiMucci is a legendary American singer-songwriter whose work has incorporated elements of doo-wop, rock and R&B styles and, most recently, straight blues. He was one of the most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British Invasion era, with more than a dozen Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 60s.
In 1959 Dion gave away his seat on the plane that ended the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper.
Throughout his life, Dion has never stopped making music and experimenting with styles, producing bodies of work in later years ranging from an album recorded with Phil Spector to the blues in more recent years. Fast forward to 2016, and Dion is back with a new album, 'New York Is My Home.
After nearly six decades, Dimucci's voice has lost nothing. Working with producer/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Vivino on 10 new tracks, all but two of them co-written by Dion, the album is strong, although nostalgia makes me want to hear it on a transistor radio.
For those of you too young to know what a transistor radio is…you missed out on the days when music had a soul!
The title track is a love letter to New York City, recorded as a duet with Paul Simon, and it’s the one that's gotten most of the buzz, filled not so much with nostalgic pining as eternal love: for the place, the attitude and and the sense of belonging the city offers.
Other standout tracks nclude the Chuck Berry-esque ''The Apollo King'' (Dion's homage to first hearing saxophonist Big Al Sears), ''Visionary Heart'' (could've been a lost Doc Pomus composition) and his nod to the blues, a take on Lightnin' Hopkins' ''Katie Mae.'