Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci is no stranger to Everything Knoxville magazine – he first appeared in the December 2021 edition. As we said of Dion in that article: Say the name “Dion” (as in Dion and the Belmonts), and all sorts of great songs come to mind. Tunes like “I Wonder Why,” “A Teenager in Love,” “The Wanderer,” and “Runaround Sue” are among the many songs Dion DiMucci has burned into the memory of baby boomers the world over. Since those wonderful days in the ’60s, Dion has continued to record so much more great music, crossing genres and remaining fresh and relevant all the way to today.

In that article, we chatted with Dion about his then-new blues album, Stomping Ground, that featured many guitar greats. Like then, we spoke again recently about his latest album, Girl Friends.

This album finds Dion recording duets with 12 renowned female musical collaborators – his “girl friends.” Those women artists are Rory Block, Carlene Carter, Shemekia Copeland, Debbie Davies, Randi Fishenfeld, Sue Foley, Danielle Nicole, Christine Ohlman, Maggie Rose, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, and Valerie Tyson. They join Dion on this album’s amazing songs.

Dion said of working with these women: “Well, they changed the atmosphere in the room but, believe me, not only are they beautiful, they’re talented and they walk into a room and the atmosphere changes. With a bunch of guys in there, it wouldn’t be nothing.”

“It’s fun working with these girls – I never tell them what to do. Never, because they’re artists. They’re hearing what they hear, and I don’t want to fool with it. They just contribute what their soul and heart and mind and conscience is telling them to play.”

One “girl friend” Dion speaks fondly of is blues musician and historian Rory Block.

“Rory Block always comes up with her own thing,” he said. “She’s got so much to draw on, you know, her intuition bank is so huge. And when she rocked out on that song with me (‘Don’t You Want a Man Like Me’), she said, ‘I wouldn’t play this for your wife.’ She went bonkers on it. She reminded me of Meg Ryan in that Billy Crystal movie, you know? ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’ Ha! Ha!”

Joanne Shaw Taylor is another blues great who is a “girl friend” on Dion’s new album. He spoke glowingly of her.

“You mentioned Joanne Shaw Taylor. I had this rock rocker, you know, this thing called ‘Just Like That.’ I got on Joe Bonamassa’s Blues Cruise, and I heard her, you know? I’ve been listening to her for a while, but I’d never met her. I met her and said, ‘Joanne, do this song for me,’ and she said, ‘I’d love to,’ and she rocked it out, man! She’s something else!

Did the rock and roll icon sense that any of his “girlfriends” were intimidated to be working with him?

“I didn’t sense any,” he said. “First of all, a lot of them are my friends. Christine Ohlman – I’ve known for a long time, and Rory Block. Oh, and Sue Foley I’ve known a long time.”

As for Dion’s “unintimidated” chat when he called Susan Tedeschi about joining him on Girl Friends.

“I call Susan Tedeschi – this is so funny. She’s so down to earth. She don’t care. I call her and I said, ‘Susan, I’d like you to do a song – I have a song. What do you think?’ She says, ‘Can I FaceTime you?’ I said sure. So, she FaceTimes me. She’s sitting out on the back, like veranda up in Georgia. She’s sitting there like, you know, no makeup, hair up. She looks like she’s just cleaning the house or something. She turns the camera around (facing away). ‘You got to see the deer in the meadow here.’ She turns it around there and you could see forever. There’s no buildings. It was a beautiful pasture, and these deer are coming up to the porch. I’m sitting there watching these deer for 20 minutes, and I’m thinking, ‘I want to ask about my song’, but she’s like, enthralled with this these deer, so she couldn’t care less. Oh, it was great!”

Continuing, he added, “I’ll tell you, Susan Tedeschi is so down to earth. My only regret is I was trying to change it up a little. I didn’t want every song to be a dialogue – you know, back and forth. So, we promised each other that, up the line, we’re going to do a song together where she sings on it, not only plays guitar like ‘Soul Force.’”

“I could go on and on about these women! I don’t remember anything that didn’t work.”

There is more to this interview – how making albums has gone from stressful when he was young to enjoyable at this age, added info on his “girl friend” collaborators, and the new Broadway play featuring Dion’s music – that can be watched on, its YouTube channel, and on all major podcast platforms. Dion’s Girl Friends is now on all streaming platforms and wherever you buy your quality music.