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CD Review by Doug Perry

Originally published in the Blue Chip Review October 2005

 

The new CD from the local group Diamond Blue entitled "Facets", is a delight to hear. The band offers a unique blend of instrumentation and styles of music. Diamond Blue is made up of  Jude Jones on vocals, violin and guitar, Ron Sachs on vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, accordion, not to mention banjo, Jan Hunter does vocals and Kevin Shaffer fills out the band with vocals, guitar and drums.

 

The twelve song disc opens with an easy going rocker called "Since You". It has the happy sound of sweet harmonies and banjo picking on top of a churning back beat.

 

"Rain Man" introduces violin and synthesizer. It tells a story of the summer rains bringing love.

 

"Jigsaw Heart" laments of lost love, with the beautiful male, female harmonies of the entire band and has a delightful twelve string guitar solo by Ron.

 

"Talk To Me" again showcases Ron's talents as a versatile guitarist. With a strong blues rock groove and gutsy slide guitar, the song is about the age old problem of communication.

 

"Corner Booth" is a beautiful gentle balled with acoustic guitar finger picking, violin and Jude singing of the memories of a special place in a little cafe'.

 

"Pain and Grace" picks up the pace a little with a haunting, atmospheric vibe. Ron's raspy voice perfectly tells a tale of pain and loss aside a beautiful background violin. There is also a Pink Floyd-esque guitar solo that drives home the power of this tune.

 

"Isn't Love Crazy" offers a strong back beat and crunchy guitars amid Kevin's unique vocal textures.

 

"Cry Dance" creates a beautiful mood with guitar, banjo, violin and Jan's lead vocal. Again the band offers its signature sound of a refreshing combination of instrumentation.

 

Song nine is entitled "Solitaire". Kevin handles the lead vocal while Ron lays down a bluesy slide guitar line. The song tells of a man playing solitaire after love deals him a bad hand.

 

"Get it Over" is an upbeat witty tune about getting past any problem. "Get it over so I can get over you". Ron's expressive picking is also featured.

 

"Let's Drive" moves right along with a country rock, easy going back beat, a catchy hook and the band's sweet harmonies.

 

"Celtic Aire" is a tender and lovely piece. It is the only instrumental on the album. The wonderful textures and voicing of guitar, violin and synthesizer weave a Celtic melody that is a beautiful ending song for the CD.

 

Diamond Blue performs at many venues around Cincinnati. Catch them when you can, and let them spin their musical magic for you.

 

Used by permission

 

 

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