DION’s new album „Girl Friends“ features powerful collaborations with female musicians released Last Friday, March 8 on Bonamassa’s KTBA Records

The last few years have been some of the most productive in Dion’s long career, which has spanned several eras in music and culture. The release of „Soul Force“ featuring powerhouse Susan Tedeschi underscores his renewed and ongoing creative drive. This is the second single release from Dion’s upcoming new album „Girl Friends“, which features strong female collaborators. The first single „An American Hero“ featuring Carlene Carter was released back in October and paved the way for this new collection of songs. „Girl Friends“, scheduled for release on March 8th, is Dion’s third consecutive album on blues rock titan Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive Records.

Playing tunes when women are in the room – and it’s a different kind of jam when women are in the game. I don’t know why that is, but it is. Maybe we men are competing for their attention on some primitive level. Like I said, I don’t know why or how. All I know is that better music is being created and we all benefit from it. He concludes by summarizing his vision for Girl Friends: „I wanted the best music possible. So I wrote a series of duets for myself and my ‚girlfriends‘, the women who inhabit my headphones – the women who make me turn up the volume when they come on my radio. I invited them to join me, one by one, and here they are, jamming on guitar and into the microphone. You’ll hear the female genius in every groove of this record, and you won’t forget any of it.“

On „Girl Friends,“ Dion finds herself in musical company with a number of high-caliber female artists who can be heard on the album’s 12 original tracks, 11 of which were composed by Dion and Mike Aquilina and one of which was written by Dion and the late Scott Kempner (The Dictators, The Del Lords). Tedeschi and Carter are joined by Rory Block, Shemekia Copeland, Debbie Davis, Randi Fishenfeld, Sue Foley, Danielle Nicole, Christine Ohlman, Maggie Rose, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Valerie Tyson. The album was produced by Wayne Hood and Dion, who also produced „Blues With Friends“ and „Stomping Ground“.

„Girl Friends“ features liner notes from Darlene Love, who commented, „I’ve been a big fan since I was a young girl. When I sang „He’s a Rebel“ I was singing about misfits like Dion. Today I’m an even bigger fan and still try to emulate his unique bluesy overtones. Now I’m totally excited about these new collaborations – not just friends, but all friends – great singers and musicians. These captivating duets are exactly what the world needs right now.“

Dion explains the album’s raison d’être in a commentary titled „The Feminine Genius“ included in Girl Friends‘ packaging. „I write about my thoughts on women. A friend of mine is a philosopher, and he often talks about the „feminine genius“ – the undeniable difference women make and the beautiful difference they make in the world. I’m grateful to my friend for naming it, because the fact was always clear to me, but I could never put it into words.“ He goes on to explain that his mother was the breadwinner of his family and that he had two sisters. He has been married for 60 years to Susan Butterfield, who is named in the album „Hey Suzy“, and they are the parents of three daughters, who in turn produced four more girls. He writes: „I’ve always been surrounded by fantastic women. Even my music has focused heavily on the ladies: ‚Runaround Sue‘, ‚Donna the Prima Donna‘, ‚Little Diane‘, ‚Ruby Baby‘. All these women, real and imaginary, have made the difference in my life.“ He talks about his female musical collaborators, including those who accompanied him on his last two albums, as well as Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector, Cher and Patty Smyth.

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