“Angel in the Alleyways,” a new track and video is out from Dion today. The song, on which Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen are featured, was written by Dion and Mike Aquilina and is one of the selections from the forthcoming Stomping Ground album. Stomping Ground is set for release on November 5 through Keeping The Blues Alive Records.
The new track is the third Stomping Ground cut to have been made available in advance of the album. The two released earlier are “Take It Back” with Joe Bonamassa guesting and “I’ve Got To Get To You” with Boz Scaggs, Joe Menza and Mike Menza joining in.
Dion has long been known as a man of faith and “Angel in the Alleyways” reflects that in terms of its lyric and the setting of the video clip. It was shot at the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux, a Spanish monastery constructed in the eleventh century. It fell into disuse in the 1830s and was ultimately shipped in pieces to Miami where it was reconstructed in 1950s. Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen’s contribution was shot in their home studio. The song’s theme is one of abiding belief with a line that underscores Dion’s dedication to the blues:
An angel walks
An angel prays
By your side at night unseen in the alleyways
Who guides the hand that comes to play?
Like BB King and Stevie Ray
Who takes the pain we didn’t choose?
Turns it into Chicago Blues
Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen previously worked with Dion on “Hymn To Him,” a track from his 2020 Blues With Friends album. Dion credits Scialfa for the richness of the song’s arrangement. “Everything you hear — that’s all her,” he explains. He had sent her only the most basic track on which to lay her vocal and she returned with 64 tracks that were fully arranged. Dion quipped, “64 tracks is more than I’ve used on all my records combined.”
In the liner notes that accompany Stomping Ground, Dion writes, “I gave Patti a simple, raw demo of ‘Angel in the Alleyways,’ with just my guitar and vocal. What you’ll hear now is what Patti made of it. There are five verses, and she treated each of them in a unique way. This is her gift. The lady’s imagination is unlimited. Her husband contributed the right tones on guitar and harmonica. They are my dream team. They truly make me feel loved.”
Stomping Ground, produced by Wayne Hood and Dion, features a total of 14 tracks and includes musical contributions by Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Billy F Gibbons, Keb’ Mo, Sonny Landreth, Marcia Ball, Jimmy Vivino, G.E. Smith, Rickie Lee Jones as well as the aforementioned Bonamassa, Scaggs and the Menzas. The album also includes original liner notes by Pete Townshend.
Stomping Ground Track Listing (LP version — CD version follows the same order)Side A
Take It Back with Joe Bonamassa
Hey Diddle Diddle with G.E. Smith
Dancing Girl with Mark Knopfler
If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll with Eric Clapton Side B
There Was A Time with Peter Frampton
Cryin’ Shame with Sonny Landreth
The Night Is Young with Joe Menza and Wayne Hood
That’s What The Doctor Said with Steve Conn
My Stomping Ground with Billy F Gibbons
Angel In the Alleyways with Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen Side D
I’ve Got To Get To You with Boz Scaggs, Joe Menza and Mike Menza
Red House with Keb’ Mo’
I Got My Eyes On You Baby with Marcia Ball and Jimmy Vivino
I’ve Been Watching with Rickie Lee Jones and Wayne Hood
# # #
About Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA) Records
The new independent record label is an offshoot of Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, Joe Bonamassa’s non-profit that aims to conserve the art of music in schools and preserve the rich culture and history of the blues. Bonamassa along with his long-time manager, Roy Weisman, have expanded their business by creating the new label.
The first release from KTBA was Dion’s album Blues with Friends, released to critical acclaim in June 2020; thereafter, it stayed at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart for several weeks. In February 2021, KTBA Records released Joanna Connor’s album 4801 South Indiana Avenue which received rave reviews worldwide and earned her a #1 album on Billboard’s Blues Chart. KTBA’s catalogue is growing quickly with new projects on the horizon including The Blues Album, Joanne Shaw Taylor’s first covers album available on September 24th and Dion’s Stomping Ground, as described here.
KTBA Records’ main objective is to provide a platform for musical talent in blues and blues-rock based music and helping promote the careers of extraordinary musical talent. The label works synergistically with the non-profit’s mission of supporting musicians to continue the legacy of the blues. 10% of all profits from KTBA Records are donated to the non-profit.
KTBA Records is the next step for Bonamassa in the evolution of music and the business of creating it. It represents Joe’s continuing efforts, spanning the last 25 years, in support the artistic community. It reflects the philosophy of paying it forward just as so many did for him in the hope of paving the way for blues artists in the future. Visit www.KTBArecords.com for further information.