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Music Album reviews with Tony Burke: January 11, 2022

New releases from Dion, The Electric Prunes and John Mayall

Dion
Stomping Ground
KTBA

★★★★

DION’S 2020 Blues With Friends release caused a real stir and we can expect a similar reaction to his follow-up.

Now aged 82, Dion who co-wrote most of the tracks with Mike Aquilina is on sparkling form supported by a stellar cast including Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa on Angel In the Alleyways, I Got To Get To You featuring Boz Scaggs, Dancing Girl with Mark Knopfler, If You Wanna Rock ’n’ Roll with Eric Clapton and a tribute to Jimi Hendrix on the John Lee Hooker/Hendrix blues standard Red House with Keb Mo.

Add into the mix Peter Frampton, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, slide guitar king Sonny Landreth, top session guitar player GE Smith, Jo Bonamassa (on the album’s opener Take It Back),  Marcia Ball and Rickie Lee Jones — there ain’t a bad track in sight.

 

The Electric Prunes
Then Came The Dawn: The Complete Recordings (1966-1969)
Grapefruit
★★★★

FORMED in 1965 and signed to Reprise Records, the Prunes hit with I Had To Much To Dream Last Night and Get Me To The World On Time — both hard-driving garage rock from 1966 and 1967.

Their 1968 Mass In F Minor concept album sung in Greek and Latin was a mix of psychedelic rock and Gregorian chant produced by David Axelrod.

It achieved cult status when Kyrie Eleison appeared on the film soundtrack of Easy Rider.

This comprehensive six-CD box set features their five Reprise albums cut between 1967 and 1969, including both mono and stereo versions of their first three albums — plus 45s, demos, remixes, and a live set from Stockholm in 1967.

With an extensive booklet its the perfect gift for old hippies and fans of 1960s underground rock.

 

John Mayall
The Sun Is Shining Down
Forty-Four Records
★★★★

AGED 88, Mayall announced he was hanging up his road shoes and from now on only playing local gigs near his home in California and he announced this new album was on the way.

The father of the British blues is joined by an array of blues and roots talent including Chicago bluesman Melvin Taylor on Hungry And Ready and on Roosevelt Sykes’s Driving Wheel, guitar phenomenon Marcus King on Can’t Take No More, violin player Scarlett Rivera — a member of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, ace Americana guitarist Buddy Miller on Bobby Rush’s I’m As Good As Gone.

Hawaiian ukulele star Jake Shimabukuro and Mike Campbell from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers help out along with Alligator Records’ rising blues star Carolyn Wonderland who joins Mayall’s regular band on eight tracks. Mayall is still keeping the blues alive.

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