CD REVIEW: Diamond Hitch - Diamond Hitch (2011)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Diamond Hitch
CD: Diamond Hitch
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Country, Rock, Americana
Sounds Like: Diamond Rio, The Eagles, Brooks and Dunn
Technical Grade: 7/10
Weakness: Some Vocals, More Instrumentation, Post Production
The CD takes flight with “Burnet Country Jail” a full tilt country-rock groove that serves up driving rock rhythm,slamming solo guitar, well placed vocal harmonies against a grand slam chorus from Boyd and company. Track 2 “Country Proud” keeps things moving in the right direction with its steady rock rhythm, hooky chorus and straight forward vocal passion from Kuppens. Track 3 “Fame” shifts gears a bit with its delicate acoustic guitar intro, eventually lending itself into an impressive ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid songs in a row. I would classify this music as Modern Country with a steady rock aftertaste. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive Solo Guitar, Piano, Organ, Keyboard accents and several lush harmonies layered everywhere. The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. Now turning our attention over to vocal tandems Boyd/Kuppens. This 2 song line-up reminds me a of Brooks and Dunn. As for their vocal abilities, both voices work well within the confines of this catalogue. Boyd knows how to push hard, but he also knows how to sit deep within the pocket and sing a song with amazing fluidity. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with amazing feel. The music reminds me of classic acts like the Diamond Rio, Brooks and Dunn, and even The Eagles. All songs are well crafted and consistent musical experiences across the board. This CD delivers 10 solid tracks. From heartfelt “That’s Who I Come From”, “Can’t Outrun Her” and “Stay Close to Me” to rocking “Nashville Nights” to melodic ’Sixteen” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 10 “Unbuckle the Bible Belt” the perfect finale statement for CD of this caliber.
I’m not crazy about the dual vocal line-up. If I was Producer I would leave the singing duties exclusively to Boyd – I’ll leave it at that. It’s fair to say more instrumentation is needed to mix up the catalogue better. Things like Fiddles, Harmonica, Banjo, Pedal Steel, Mandolin and even a few more solos here and there would take the edge of this quite nicely. It’s generally never a good idea to have your Mixer and Mastering Engineer be the same individual during the Post Production process.
From start to finish this debut CD from “Diamond Hitch” is an impressive musical statement. The music is grooving, upbeat and entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. The writing, playing and singing abilities of Boyd and company are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are effective. The lyrical content is packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom and the messages are full of whiskey, bar brawls and all things Country-Rock-Americana. What else could you ask for.