Dion, the veteran rock 'n' roller who struck hits in the 1960s "Runaround Sue" and "Wanderer," is to play his first U.K. gig on Thursday (Nov. 8) to promote his latest album "Son of Skip James".

The concert at London's Metro Club will complement a special appearance on an upcoming episode of "Later...With Jools Holland," the flagship music show on public broadcast network BBC. The "Later" program was taped Tuesday and will air Nov. 23.

"It was his appearance on 'Later...With Jools Holland' that triggered the visit," explains Richard Gottehrer, co-founder/chairman of U.S.-based international digital-music aggregator The Orchard, to Billboard.biz. "We (The Orchard) have kept all the digital rights for outside the United States," adds Gottehrer, who executive produced the album.

Germany-based label SVP will release the album Nov. 9 in Germany, and Nov. 12 in the rest of Europe. Verve will handle the release in the United States, also during November. The album was released late September for digital downloading via The Orchard.

The blues-influenced "Son of Skip James" features cover versions of recordings by Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and blues legends Robert Johnson and Skip James. It also includes two self-penned titles: "The Thunderer" and the title track.

"Son" follows Dion's Grammy-nominated "Bronx in Blue," which was released in 2006 and represented Gottehrer's first collaboration with the artist. For that album, the Orchard handled the total recording, licensed the CD rights to various labels, and retained the global digital rights.

Although he started his career in the 1950s with the band Dion and the Belmonts, the artist continued as a solo act through the 1960s. During the following years, his career was marked by intermittent hits, such as "Abraham, Martin and John," a response to the murders of Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy in 1968.

Dion was later signed to Arista on two occasions by U.S. recording impresario Clive Davis, and worked with Phil Spector, Gottehrer explains.

Other hit makers, including Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and Paul Simon have cited Dion as an influence, and Steve Van Zandt -- a member of Springsteen's E Street Band -- has written the new album's sleeve notes.

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