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Review by Gary Hill

Although he was credited under his birth name (Ronald Padavona), the lead singer on this album was Ronnie James Dio. Not only did he sing here, but he also played bass. David Feinstein (guitar), Mickey Lee Soule (piano, organ) and Gary Driscoll (drums) rounded out the lineup. Although this 1972 album (reissued here) might be a stretch from the metal with which Dio would later be associated, his voice is recognizable. Also, there are definite links in this bluesy hard rock sound with his next band Rainbow. There is some solid music here. This is worth having not only for the archival interest, but also because it’s entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Hoochie Coochie Lady

Guitar leads this in, and the song has a real boogie woogie vibe to it. It’s a real old time rock and roll type piece. There’s a more modern jam at the end of the piece that feels a bit like The Stones to me.

First Avenue
Combining The Stones with Rod Stewart, this is a blues romp. It’s another solid tune.
Never More
Starting with piano, this is a moody, balladic rocker that builds gradually. It’s the kind of thing that actually sounds quite a bit like the band Dio would front next, Rainbow. It’s one of the highlights of the set. I really like this one a lot. It’s quite a strong tune.
I'm Coming Back for You
This is more contemporary to the 1970s sound, but it’s not nearly as exceptional as the previous cut was. It’s a pretty standard pop rock tune. It has some good instrumental work and vocal performances, but just isn’t something that reaches out and grabs the listener. It’s definitely Dio, though in the singing department.
Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be Alright)
With some real honky tonk piano built onto it, this is really very much along the lines of that Stones meets Rod Stewart comparison. This is a blues rock stomper that’s a lot of fun.
Dixie Lee Junction
Now, this one is very much like Rod Stewart meets White Witch and Rainbow. It’s a cool slow, rather mellow rocker. Even though it’s a bit laid back, it’s packed with power and drama. It’s another highlight of the set.
Love Me like a Woman
Here’s a bluesy rocker. It’s not all that special, but it’s also not to be easily dismissed. It’s not the most creative or impressive thing, but it entertains with its boogie style.
Gambler, Gambler
There’s a lot of energy and oomph built into this rocker. It’s a bit like Rainbow meets The Stones.
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