After the death of Ronnie James Dio, a number of the musicians that the vocalist had played with decided to keep his legacy alive by touring as the Dio Disciples. Having shared Dio's music live since 2011, the core group has started work on an original studio album.

"Right now we're gearing it for summer of 2017. It's original material, but it will also be music written in such a way that I think Ronnie would be proud of," says guitarist Craig Goldy. "I made a promise to fans at his first memorial, because of the relationship that him and I had that I've learned enough. You don't work side by side with a man like him that long and some of it doesn't rub off. So I made a promise that any time I do something original, I'll do it in such a way that I hope that I can make Ronnie proud. Some of the music that we've written for this project, the first words out of Wendy Dio's mouth were, 'Wow, Ronnie would be really proud,' so I think we're on the right track."

Keyboardist Scott Warren tells us, "It's coming along and we're just taking it a step at a time. I've been saying this for a couple of years, but we do have some new music in the works and a couple of things that we've collaborated on. We're just starting on it and we're waiting for all the pieces of the puzzle to fit into place to get the green light to continue, but it's really good so far."

Joe Retta, one of the vocalists for the band, says he's anxious to see what the process yields. "I'm just waiting for Craig to hand me something and let me do my thang."

The group has proceeded with the approval of Wendy Dio, who states, "They were Ronnie's band for over 20 years ... And they are an amazing band onstage, with Craig Goldy, who was Ronnie's guitar player, Simon Wright, we have Scott Warren who was with him over 17 years, Bjorn Englen on bass, and of course no one could ever replace Ronnie. This is a tribute to Ronnie, but we have Tim 'Ripper' Owens, Oni Logan and I think Joe Lynn Turner is going to be joining us for the festivals next year."

With new music and old, Dio Disciples intend on honoring the legacy of Ronnie James Dio, something that is not lost on Warren who is continually thrilled by the fan response. The keyboardist says, "It's really remarkable. There's really no way to describe it. It's basically the same Dio crowd. When he passed, I thought I'd never hear, 'Dio! Dio! Dio!' again, but they chant it even louder because we all know why they're there. It's really just a great experience."

Keep an ear out for new Dio Disciples music coming in 2017, along with a stage show that will include some performances with the Ronnie James Dio hologram that debuted earlier this year at the Wacken Festival.

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