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Keeping the Blues Alive RecordsDion DiMucci has debuted one more track from his forthcoming star-studded studio album Blues with Friends, “Song for Sam Cooke (Here in America),” which features the rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop legend duetting with Paul Simon.

The introspective acoustic tune is the sixth and last in a series of advance songs from the album that Dion has been making available each week as a digital download and via streaming services leading up to Blues with Friends’ June 5 release.

The song was inspired by Dion’s experiences touring with Sam Cooke in 1962, while celebrating the late soul legend’s music, acknowledging the racism he faced during the era, and mourning his early death.

A companion performance video for the tune has premiered at Dion’s YouTube channel. The clip begins with a heartfelt introduction from Dion, and features footage of DiMucci singing the tune, as well as a photo montage of Cooke. At the end of the video, Dion shares some recollections of his time touring the South with Sam.

“It’s a true story, you know,” he says of the song. “[W]e would travel in the South, and it was kind of the opposite way around. [Sam] stood up for me in those situations where people had attitudes…in a community that wasn’t mine. He’d say, ‘Hey, the boy’s with me.’ He was a big guy, a very beautiful guy. I miss him.”

As previously reported, Blues with Friends also features collaborations with Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, Van Morrison, Jeff Beck, Stray CatsBrian Setzer, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt and more. Bob Dylan wrote the album’s liner notes.

Blues with Friends can be pre-ordered now, and is available on CD, as a two-LP vinyl set and digitally.

By Matt Friedlander
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