Dion calls upon the celebrity guest list once more on the lively Stomping Ground

Dion the wanderer roams with Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton and more on Stomping Ground

Dion - Stomping Ground cover art
(Image: © KBTA Records)

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The celebrity-guest-list approach to making records might often work better as a marketing strategy than as a creative direction, but on last year’s Blues With Friends it gave this veteran of rhythm and blues a significant career boost. 

Like this follow-up, it was released on Joe Bonamassa’s label Keeping The Blues Alive, which might sound as much like a charity as a commercial enterprise, but which has sponsored far livelier sounds than you’d have any right to expect from an 83-year-old.

Some of Stomping Ground sounds much as expected, like the chunka-chunka boogie of If You Wanna Rock’n’roll and My Stomping Ground, assisted by Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons respectively. 

Elsewhere there are more surprising moments, such as the slinky soul duet with Rickie Lee Jones on I’ve Been Watching, the gospel-tinged meditation of Angels In The Alleyway with Patti Scialfa, and Mark Knopfler’s minimal but inimitable flourishes decorating Dancing Girl.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock