'The Wanderer' Has Got the Blues

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/17680145/17691809" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Hear the Music

Listen to songs from Son of Skip James:

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/17680145/17681131" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/17680145/17681134" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Dion 300

Dion's latest solo album is titled Son of Skip James. George Rose/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption George Rose/Getty Images

Dion DiMucci used to sing rock 'n' roll hits: That's him on "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer." But he says he's always really been a blues singer. His new CD, Son of Skip James, is his second blues album.

DiMucci says he grew up listening to Howlin' Wolf and Jimmy Reed, so performing the pop hit "Teenager in Love" was a stretch for him. At the height of his success, he befriended other musicians, including his blues heroes, like Skip James. DiMucci says he met the blues legend at the Newport Folk Festival, and they became friends. He says that using James' name in the title of his record represented a kind of mission statement for the project.

According to DiMucci, covering the blues songs on Son of Skip James was an act of reverence for him. He calls the writers and original performers of these songs "backwoods genius poets" and defines their brilliance as "the distance between what they were doing and what everyone else was doing."

Related NPR Stories

Purchase Featured Music

Son of Skip James

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Son of Skip James

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.