Dave Diamond – Trois
Dave Diamond’s successful career in music spans more than twenty years. A prolific singer/songwriter and session musician, Dave has recorded and performed as a solo artist and with his own band as well as with an array of other talented and acclaimed musicians such as Bob Weir, Donna Jean Godchaux, Robert Randolph, Derek Trucks, and Oteil Burbridge. Diamond has been featured in Modern Drummer and Drum Magazine, and is equally comfortable in abstract and complex musical terrain as evidenced by his contributions to Blow Up Hollywood, the art rock collective led by Steve Messina, and the musical catalogue of poet NYC poet/ songwriter Alan Semerdjian. While it’s true that most of Diamond’s career has been spent helping shape the jam band scene in North America, it would be foolish to categorize his work as derivative of any one genre.
“Trois” is a fine recording with just about everything going for it, except for that one to three songs that usually stand out. It’s consistently good because of that as well, as it doesn’t seem to concentrate on presenting a hit. All of the tracks just go together so well that it might leave one still searching for a stand out number. But is the only a by-product of essentially being a jam band approach at heart. While still writing and arranging memorable tunes. Talk about dwelling between fine lines, this is where it seems to be at home and there is not much else to advise on his approach to the music and lyrics. Dave has it down, starting with “All Things Good,” which sets the tone up for a mellow but intensified prowess.
The rest seems to be some tasty gravy as well. “Breaking Hearts” is massively percussive and proceeds to move with the best on the CD. It has a lot going on but never travels outside the box. But as far as “Here In The Summertime” goes, I could digress a tad because it’s the only number with that stands out from the rest, as a cut above in the ability to break commercial ground. There might be one thing too heavy handed about it with this organ solo but what I can say about that is it’s very good and gives the cut some classy edge. It just aches with soul and soothes with that healing result. A real treat this is, with a hard finger on repeat. Call it a stand out but not of the cliché hit status.
That is all but gone with “Little Things,” which does exactly that for this reviewer. Very little ground made but not too bad either, as it features some lovely acoustic and some heartfelt vocals. But it could use some more speed to pop it better, so, it loses a point with me there. “Back Off” works a little harder for that but a double shot would have been a lot more satisfying. I obviously like this one more, and the guitars really cut through, followed by some more bottom end provided by the keyboards, encompassing that old organ sound. I am reminded well of the Allman Brothers here, as it has that Dickey Betts slinky factor. Followed by the more lighthearted “Let It Go,” where the vocals get a chance to stand out with a louder effort.
It is important to point out that this is the “Dave Diamond Band,” so the players must get their due as well, as he surrounds himself with world class artists themselves. This can clearly be evidenced on the brooding “Tear It Down” which fits right into the modern country rock buzz of the day. This is another excellent track that anyone who loves music can relate to. The next track “Pick You Up” is a marvelous in every way, as it too keeps you interested every verse of the way. You can say it isn’t much, but I can’t. This is simply great. As is “California Turnaround.” If any cut competes with “Here In The Summertime,” this would be it.
What makes a hit these days I do not know, but if any on offer here do, I would have to call it on those two. But if the next track “In A Little While” doesn’t have anything for you, relax and give it a few spins because it’s not the worst one of the bunch, and I’m not even sure if there is one on this long player of well-timed gems. And the following three which take the CD out are no exception to that rule.
Purchase Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/trois/id1092802424