Stomping Ground

Through more than six decades, Dion DiMucci has traversed doo-wop, folk, folk-rock, gospel and, in recent years, blues-flavored guitar music – a passion rooted in his discovering Robert Johnson in the mid ’60s.

Stomping Ground is a continuation of his 2020 collaborative album Blues with Friends. Its 15 songs are mostly bluesy originals by DiMucci and Mike Aquilina, joined by heavy-hitting guest singers and guitarists.

On “Hey Diddle Diddle,” G.E. Smith’s screaming riffs and solos energize Dion’s vocal. Bruce Springsteen’s acoustic guitar and harmonica on “Angel in the Alleyways” are fleshed-out by Patti Scialfa’s harmonies. The Chuck-Berryesque “I’ve Got to Get to You” is a Dion duet with Boz Scaggs that features the screaming father-son Les Pauls of Joe and Mike Menza. Wayne Hood’s guitar adds incandescent passion to “I’ve Been Watching,” a duet with Rickie Lee Jones.

Keb’ Mo’s amplified Delta slide time-shifts Hendrix’s “Red House” into late-’40s Chicago blues. DiMucci and Joe Bonamassa generate a powerful, hypnotic call-and-response throughout “Take It Back.” Sonny Landreth’s masterful slide textures on “Cryin’ Shame” generate a similar effect. His macho vocal on “My Stomping Ground” gets an added punch from Billy Gibbons. Everything is tied together nicely by detailed notes, and Pete Townshend’s heartfelt written appreciation of Dion.

This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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