***FORMER THIN LIZZY/MOTÖRHEAD GUITARIST’S DEBUT SOLO ALBUM ‘DIAMONDS AND DIRT’ RELEASED MARCH 28TH ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
It’s not for the first time in the history of rock music that coincidence led to the discovery of hidden treasures: a carrier bag full of music tapes (note: tapes!) turned out to be the basis for ‘Diamonds And Dirt’, the first ever solo album by Scottish guitarist/composer Brian Robertson, due to be released on 28 March 2011 on Steamhammer/SPV. “I thrust the bag into my friend Søren’s hand and said: ‘Why don’t you listen to these some time when you’re bored. They’re a number of my previously unreleased compositions.’” Søren Lindberg from Sweden is one of former Thin Lizzy/Motörhead guitarist Brian Robertson’s closest friends and frequently works as his driver when he has equipment which needs transporting. “He had plenty of time to listen to that pile of tapes in his lorry on the way back to Scandinavia,” Robertson remembers, “and he called me as soon as he reached Stockholm: ‘Brian, there’s some brilliant stuff on those tapes. We should make an album of them!’”
Lindberg enlisted two of his country’s most renowned instrumentalists in drummer Ian Haugland (Europe) and bassist Nalley Påhlsson (Treat & Therion). Robertson: “They’re great, the best rhythm section I’ve played with since Phil Lynott and Brian Downey.” Superb singer Leif Sundin (ex-Michael Schenker Group) was recruited as additional lead vocalist, and the amazing Liny Wood joined the fold as backing vocalist. “It wasn’t easy to get all these extremely sought-after musicians in one place at the same time, which is why the work on ‘Diamonds And Dirt’ took longer than originally scheduled. But it was important to us to get the best possible line-up, so we preferred to wait until they could all be there.”
The result is a superb, thoroughly captivating album, chock full of catchy, blues-tinged gems of mainstream melodic hard rock songs, all highlighted by Brian Robertson’s distinctive, flowing, guitar solos and arrangements.
‘Diamonds And Dirt’ contains 5 outstanding Robertson solo compositions, including the hard driving, uplifting title track, the truly intense ‘Passion’, ‘Texas Wind’ with its wonderfully atmospheric beginning, and the powerful ‘Devil In My Soul’ with its awesome wah-pedal guitar solo. The album is rounded off by tracks from Robertson’s extremely successful collaboration with Phil Lynott during their Thin Lizzy days in the years 1974 to 1978 and his fellow-countryman Frankie Miller, with whom he recorded ‘Dancing In The Rain’ in 1986, among others.
‘Diamonds And Dirt’ features a new version of ‘It’s Only Money’ (from Thin Lizzy’s 1974 release ‘Nightlife’), plus two new versions of ‘Running Back’ (from 1976’s ‘Jailbreak’) and a previously never-before-releasedRobertson/Lynott co-composition ‘Blues Boy’. “I think Phil would be proud of what I’ve done with these Lizzy songs” says Robertson, noting that “my guitar style is audibly stronger than it was back then”. Regarding why ‘Running Back’ was recorded in two versions he explains; “I said to Søren: ‘Let’s cut it the way I hear that number.’ So we tried several interpretations, among them a slower version, which we’ve also included on the album.”
The three Frankie Miller numbers, ‘Mail Box’, ‘Do It Till We Drop (Drop It!)’ and ‘Ain’t Got No Money’, sound equally accomplished. To keep Miller happy, former Riverdogs frontman, Rob Lamothe, was enlisted to record the latter. “I played the first version to Frankie, but he didn’t like my vocals. So we asked Rob to sing the number. Frankie was very pleased with the result.”
‘Diamonds And Dirt’, superbly co-produced by Robertson, Søren Lindberg and Chris Laney, fascinates from the first to the very last note. We can only hope that we will get an opportunity to see this illustrious line-up live on stage. “For organizational reasons, I have my doubts that it will be possible to get these musicians together for a full tour, but who knows: we may always turn up for a number of festival gigs this summer. I’m sure we’d all enjoy that.” So would the audience …
Brian Robertson – All Guitars, Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Equilateral – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466
9th February 2011.