Son of Skip James

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Son of Skip James
Son of Skip James album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 6, 2007
StudioSounds Great Production
GenreBlues, pop, rock
Length43:35
LabelVerve Forecast
ProducerDion[1]
Dion chronology
Bronx in Blue
(2006)
Son of Skip James
(2007)
Tank Full of Blues
(2011)

Son of Skip James is the thirtieth album by American singer/songwriter Dion. It was released on November 6, 2007 on the Verve Forecast Records label.[1] The album stayed on the Billboard Blues Albums chart for twelve weeks, peaking at #4 on November 24, 2007.[2]

The album serves as a follow-up to Dion's 2006 Grammy Award-nominated blues album, Bronx in Blue.[3] The majority of tracks on Son of Skip James are covers of well-known blues songs, some of them classics.[1] The album's title references blues legend Skip James, a friend of Dion's. Dion described the use of James's name for the album as "a kind of mission statement for the project".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Son of Skip James
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]4/5 stars
PopMatters[3]7/10 stars
Standard-Speaker[5]9/10 stars
The Philadelphia Inquirer[6]3.5/4 stars

The album was generally positively received by critics, who called out its authenticity,[1] simplicity,[7] and emotional depth.[3] The original tracks, particularly "The Thunderer", were considered to stand on equal or even superior footing to the cover tracks.[1][3] Most critics agreed that Dion had effectively personalized the covers,[1][8] although Tony Sclafani of PopMatters disagreed, calling the track selection "too familiar", and his recordings "too reverent" to bring the project fully to life.[3] Martin Halo of JamBase highlighted Dion's dedication to researching the origins of the cover songs as part of what made the album distinctive among other blues cover albums.[8]

Joel Selvin of SFgate.com called it "another landmark in a career littered with them".[9] Thom Jurek, writing for AllMusic, called it "one of the best records of the year".[1] Chris Jones of BBC Music called it "every inch the equal of its predecessor".[7] Nick Cristiano of The Philadelphia Inquirer found it "exceptionally warm and intuitive".[6] Despite his criticism of the track selection, Sclafani said the album "does not fall short when it comes to ass-kicking".[3] Halo felt that the album featured "master musicianship and stunning vocals", but called it "nothing we haven’t heard before."[8]

Track listing[edit]

Except where noted, credits are adapted from AllMusic.[1]

No.TitleOriginal artistLength
1."Nadine"Chuck Berry3:33
2."My Babe"Willie Dixon3:12
3."Hoodoo Man Blues"Junior Wells2:45
4."Drop Down Mama"Sleepy John Estes[5]4:12
5."Hoochie Coochie Man"Willie Dixon4:00
6."Baby I'm in the Mood"Bob Dylan3:30
7."I'm a Guitar King"Tommy McClennan3:19
8."The Thunderer"Dion4:34
9."Interlude – Spoken Word"Dion0:38
10."Son of Skip James"Dion3:29
11."Preachin' Blues"Robert Johnson[5]3:34
12."If I Had Possession (Over Judgement Day)"Robert Johnson[5]3:50
13."Devil Got My Woman"Skip James2:59

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from AllMusic.[1]

Musicians[edit]

  • Bob Guertin – Audio engineer, organ, percussion
  • Dion DiMucci – Audio production, composer, guitar, harmonica, producer, vocals
  • Rick Krive – Piano

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Bill Bush – Photography
  • Susan DiMucci – Photography
  • Michael Friedman – Photography
  • Richard Gottehrer – Executive producer
  • Hollis King – Art direction
  • Emily Lazar – Mastering
  • Kazumi Matsumoto – Graphic design


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Son of Skip James - Dion | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  2. ^ "Dion Son Of Skip James Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Dion: Son of Skip James". PopMatters. 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  4. ^ "'The Wanderer' Has Got the Blues". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  5. ^ a b c d Tarone, L.A. (13 Jan 2008). "Soul-baring 'Skip James' helps Dion add to legacy". Standard-Speaker. Hazleton, Pennsylvania. p. 33. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  6. ^ a b Cristiano, Nick (25 Nov 2007). "New recordings: Country/Roots". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Chris. "BBC - Music - Review of Dion - Son Of Skip James". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  8. ^ a b c "Dion: Son of Skip James". JamBase. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  9. ^ "CD review: 'Son of Skip James'". SFGate. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2018-11-19.