June 09, 2017

Riff Diamond: Sapphire

Riff Diamond offer the total heavy blues rock package on their debut album Sapphire: a slew of intense originals and a couple of choice covers. Lead singer Becky Baxter has the range and the power (think a young Nancy Wilson), guitarist Conal O'Donoghue has the chops and a big bag of six string tricks, Led Zeppelin fanatic/drummer John McNulty unleashes his inner John Bonham and bass guitarist Dom McvAreavey is solid as a rock, adding a bit of fuzz while he takes care of the bottom end.

Blues rock is a no-frills genre, but when passion is missing or the instrument are not properly balanced, the music can comes out as a muddy mess. They folloewd the handbook from their heroes (Gov't Mule, Cream, Deep Purple, Joe Bonamassa) and went for a live in the studio sound and positioned the listener right in front of them when they mixed the tracks. So when they go all out (Shadow Man, Phoenix) or build it up more slowly (29 Days, Count Me Out you have a front row seat.

Old school fans will nod appreciatively when they tackle Whole Lotta Love (bonus point for the harp in that one) and Hey Joe. Taking into account that some of the band members are still in their teens, Riff Diamond is just getting started. With a debut album like this heavy blues rock is in good hands for many years to come.

Riff Diamond:
Becky Baxter: vocals
Dom McvAreavey: bass, backing vocals
John McNulty: drums
Conal O'Donoghue: guitar, backing vocals

Sapphire is a self-released album (180 gm 2LP, CD, digital). Buy it from their website.

Tracks:
  1. Shadow Man
  2. Masquerade
  3. Diamond Heart
  4. 29 Days
  5. Kick in the Teeth
  6. Phoenix
  7. Whole Lotta Love
  8. Count Me Out
  9. I Promise You
  10. Love Hate
  11. Hey Joe

Live date:
  • 08/13 Magheralin, Northern Ireland. @ McCrum's 5th Rockin BBQ

» riffdiamond.com

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