Bluegrass Diamonds,
Some of Our Favorites, Hopefully Yours
(self-produced, 2003)

These guys fit into the category of accomplished bluegrass musicians, but they don't stop there. It appears they can take any style of country song and stamp it with their brand.

And the tunes chosen let the players -- namely, Francis Cormier, Vincent Cormier, Louis Arsenault and Roger Gauvin, all of New Brunswick, Canada -- showcase their smooth cooperative efforts to bring bluegrass the respect it deserves. While they are certainly all accomplished old-time players, the CD delivers a real refreshing sound.

It's obvious on this CD that these guys live to share their appreciation for this type of music. When they picked a name for the CD they hit the nail right on the head. Who could go wrong with music written by Dusty Rose-Rose Maddox, Cal Veale, Bill Munroe and Lester Flatt? When it came to choosing a favorite track or two, I had no problem. First was "Geisha Girl." I've been looking for a recording of this since forever because my Dad used to sing it often and my cousin and I like to sing it at beach party sing-a-longs but we just never did have all the words. The next to send a ripple of nostalgia my way was the old-time "You Go to Your Church and I'll Go to Mine." An appropriate message in these days of global sparring.

This band records in both French and English as they are influenced by the Scottish, Irish and Acadian traditions of their home province; if this CD is any indication, their instruments speak well in any language. The list includes guitar, banjo, mandolin and stand-up bass, and besides that they add some sparkling vocals and harmony.

The only drawback with this CD might be that it's a little on the conservative side. But most listeners will find the Bluegrass Diamonds a refreshing and solid presence in bluegrass genre. There's a lasting quality to this CD -- in part, I think, because of the choice of songs, and in part because of the musicians and how they give a close-knit, finished feel to the music. I gave this CD to my Dad because I thought he'd enjoy it and because his new car has a CD player, something he's never used before, and already I miss it.

- Rambles
written by Virginia MacIsaac
published 25 October 2003

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