Saturday, April 18, 2015

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Releases Rare Live Show From Dion

Singer/songwriter Dion DiMucci, better known simply as Dion, was a huge influence on modern music, first as a leader of The Belmonts in the 50's and then his solo work in the sixties. Now for the first time, Omnivore Recordings is releasing a rare live acoustic show from 1971 recorded at the Bitter End. His voice is still strong and soothing and the songs are short, concise and showcase his love for folk music.

The new 17-song release begins with Bob Dylan's "Mama, You've Been On My Mind," which Dion slows down to give a more meaningful delivery than the original. He opens up to the audience, talking a little bit about his latest touring group before adding his own brand to Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business." Dion tends to stay away from his own catalogue until the end, instead performing his renditions of The Beatles' "Blackbird" and Leonard Cohen's "Sisters Of Mercy." He mixes in a blues cover of "Don't Start Me Talking" between a couple of his own numbers, "Your Own Backyard" and "Sunshine Lady." His singing seems more comfortable with his own songs as with "Sunniland" and "Willigo," before bringing out his hits to close the show. "The Wanderer" takes on a bluesier tone in this acoustic setting, while "Ruby Baby" is still fun to hear even stripped down to the core. He finishes with the slow, meaningful delivery of "Harmony Sound" which is showcased in the perfect setting.

Dion "Recorded Live At The Bitter End August 1971" was released on April 7th. To find out more about it, please visit

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