Dion DiMucci’s star-packed new studio album, Blues with Friends, currently is spending its seventh non-consecutive week at #1 on Billboard’s Blues Albums chart. The doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer enlisted an impressive cast of guest artists to collaborate with him on the record, including Paul Simon, Van Morrison and Jeff Beck.
Dion tells ABC Audio that when Beck signed on to play guitar on a track, that really got the ball rolling on the project.
“Jeff Beck is the only guitar player that can make me cry,” the 81-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer declares. “He bends a string, I don’t know what it is. He has some kind of magic in his hands.”
Dion adds that when he I sent Beck the song “Can’t Start Over Again” and Jeff agreed to play on it, “I knew I was onto something.”
Dion asked Simon to contribute vocals to a tune called “Song for Sam Cooke (Here in America),” which was inspired by his experiences touring the South with the late soul legend during Sam Cooke the early 1960s.
“[Paul] just started working his magic, ’cause he has great concepts for songs,” Dion maintains. “He just knows sounds. And so, he made it something sublime.”
Meanwhile, Dion says getting Morrison to duet with him on the album really put him in the good graces of his wife, who’s a huge Van the Man fan.
“I did a song called ‘I Got Nothin’,’ and I told my wife, Susan…’I got nothin’, but when you sing with Van Morrison, nothin’s more than enough,'” he explains. “I put the record on in the car, and I’m telling you…[t]he next 30 years, I’m in. I don’t have to worry about anything. I sang with Van Morrison.”