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Robertson, Brian: Diamonds and Dirt
Brian Robertson Diamonds and Dirt album new music review

Robertson, Brian: Diamonds and Dirt

Melodic Hard Rock
5.0/5.0

Guitarist Brian "Robbo" Robertson needs little introduction for long time fans of Thin Lizzy or Motorhead. To the former, Robertson was there for Lizzy's break out albums Fighting and Jailbreak among other from 1974 to 1978. He was recruited for Motorhead in the early Eighties, during a period of significant transition, and lacklaster accomplishment, for the band.

Now, you're wondering: what's he doing now? Well, that's a bit complicated. However, you probably thought that Mr. Roberston had released a solo album, or several, some time in the past. But you'd be wrong. Diamonds and Dirt is his first solo album in his lengthy career.

The genesis of Diamonds and Dirt comes from a bunch of tapes, Robertson's previously unreleased compositions. But the work also includes several tracks that have history. It's Only Money comes from Thin Lizzy's 1974 Nightlife, and Running Back from 1976's Jailbreak. (Robertson also includes a slow version for the latter.) Blues Boy is an unreleased song that he co-wrote with Phil Lynott. Finally, there are three songs from his work on Frankie Miller's Dancing in the Rain (1986): Mail Box, Do It Till We Drop, and Ain't Got No Momey (with Riverdogs vocalist Rob Lamothe on vocals). All the songs get a proper and hearty performance. The two versions of Running Back and Do It Till We Drop are quite entertaining. But all the tunes should make you want to revisit the albums if you have them (or buy them if you don't).

Though these historical references are interesting, the meat remains Robertson's own compositions. These songs are Diamonds and Dirt, Passion, Texas Wind, Devil in My Soul, and That's All. These are excellent representations of Robertson's skill at creating a fabulous melodic hard rock with a definite blues undercurrent, and he's a damn fine singer at that. All five are great, but I was partial to Texas Wind and That's All, thanks to that blues feel. A final mention must include the cover of American Jim White's 10 Miles to Go on a 9 Mile Road: simply awesome, easily my favorite track on the album. (It's from White's 2001 album No Such Place; I think I need to find it.)

Frankly, it's hard to believe that Brian Robertson hasn't cut a solo album. Diamonds and Dirt is excellent, quite the diamond in the dirt for melodic hard rock in 2011. Strongly recommended.





In Short

Frankly, it's hard to believe that Brian Robertson hasn't cut a solo album. Diamonds and Dirt is excellent, quite the diamond in the dirt for melodic hard rock in 2011. Strongly recommended.

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