THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Dion is following up his critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2020 album release Blues With Friends with Stomping Ground, a new album that finds him collaborating yet again with music greats with whom he shares mutual admiration.
Most of the album’s songs were written by Dion and his songwriting partner Mike Aquilina. Guest artists appearing on tracks with Dion include Boz Scaggs, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen, Billy F Gibbons, Keb’ Mo’, Sonny Landreth, Joe Menza, Mike Menza, Marcia Ball, Jimmy Vivino, Rickie Lee Jones, Wayne Hood, Joe Bonamassa and G.E. Smith.
The album’s voluminous notes include an intro by Dion that succinctly summarizes the philosophy behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s latest recorded endeavor: “When I was young, I was always striving for accolades and admiration. Those were my goals. But when I reached them, they didn’t satisfy. I discovered joy when I leaned to stop caring about all that — when I learned to relax and make music with friends … music that would make more friends for us through its joy. To make music with friends, and to make friends through music: I can’t imagine a better life than this. I am grateful to my friends who made Stomping Ground with me — and my new friends who are listening.”
The album’s notes include a foreword by none other than Pete Townshend, who writes: “Dion, like a circling star that never fades, generates the energy and fire we need to pull ourselves up and start again. Dion is a star who knows well how to start again, how to keep shining. He looks at his watch every few years. Damn! Let’s make a record. Take care. This one will blow those little white things in our ears right into your brain.”
Beyond Townshend’s literary contribution, Dion provides a track-by-track description of all the album’s 14 selections, the sole non-original being Red House, the Jimi Hendrix song that has become a blues standard. Dion is joined by Keb’ Mo’ on that song. “We had a blast grooving on Red House,” Dion says. “I’m honored to have him join me on this Jimi Hendrix cover/tribute. We did it as only we could. I think Jimi would approve!” It’s worth mentioning that the followup single release to Dion’s 1968 smash hit Abraham, Martin and John was Purple Haze, serving to underscore the connection that Dion has long had with the legacy of Jimi Hendrix.
In other Dion news, The Wanderer, a musical based on the life and music of Dion, will stage its world premiere in March 2022. Michael Wartella (Wicked) stars as Dion, alongside Christy Altomare (Anastasia) as Susan, his wife. Original New Kids on the Block member Joey McIntyre (Waitress) plays Johnny, Dion’s best friend. The Wanderer was written by Charles Messina (A Room of My Own) and directed by Kenneth Ferrone (Cruel Intentions) and choreographed by Sarah O’Gleby.”