Released By : SPV/Steamhammer
Genre : Melodic Rock, Classic Rock, Blues Rock
Links : http://www.robbo.info/
01. Diamonds And Dirt
03. It’s Only Money
05. Running Back
06. Texas Wind
07. Devil In My Soul
08. Do It Till We Drop (Drop It!)
09. Blues Boy
10. That’s All!
11. 10 Miles To Go On A Nine Mile Road
12. Running Back (Slow Version)
13. Ain’t Got No Money
For those of who don’t recognize the name Brian Robertson is probably best known as the guitarist that replaced Gary Moore at the beginning of THIN LIZZY’S successful patch, which he played a role in by the way. He is also quite well known for the fact that he joined MOTORHEAD for one album in 1983 titled ANOTHER PERFECT DAY. While he wasn’t really an ideal fit for the all-out dirty rock of Lemmy and co, he did add something special to the band and that particular album stands out as an anomaly in their discography but also one their most widely respected too, apart from that though he’s done the occasional guest spot here and there but not much else, even turning down the offer to join the modern day reformation of THIN LIZZY.
DIAMONDS AND DIRT is Robertson’s first actual solo album and came about when discovered a bad of cassettes with demos and song snippets that he had hung on to all these years. After playing some of them to a friend the decision was made that they should be the basis of an album, a decision that we should all be thankful for. The songs stem from demos recorded at all different intervals Robertson’s career from his THIN LIZZY days and his time in the Frankie Miller band where he was a part of the fantastic DANCING IN THE RAIN album and also from his lesser known time in WILD HORSES where he wrote tunes with Jimmy Bain.
Stylistically it ends up being a little bit of a mess, which is unavoidable when you attempt to bring years’ worth of material into the trappings of one album, but regardless of how jolted it may seem it really is an album filled with gems and something that classic rock and blues rock fans should be getting very excited about. Surprisingly, Robertson has a really great voice that hints at guys like Paul Rodgers, Brian Howe, John Waite and Joe Lynn Turner. What makes this album even more special though is the great group of musicians that were pooled together for it, including TREAT bass guitarist Nalley Pahlsson and EUROPE drummer Ian Haugland.
The solo Robertson creations are all very good, with the AOR sounding DIAMONDS AND DUST and the excellent melodic rock of THAT’S ALL! Being the best of the bunch, but it’s the other tacks of the album that are interesting for one reason or another. IT’S ONLY MONEY and RUNNING BACK are both tunes that THIN LIZZY fans will be familiar with and while Robertson’s new take on them doesn’t add much they are still great songs. There is also a slower reworked version of the latter track that is certainly an interesting take on the original. There are also three songs that were basically left-overs from Robertson’s time with Frankie Miller in DO IT TILL WE DROP, AIN’T GOT NO MONEY and the excellent blues-rock tune MAIL BOX, which has become my favorite song on the album by a long mile. BLUES BOY is a previously unreleased track that Robertson originally co-wrote with Phil Lynnot and is a really great brooding slow blues song. The cover version of the Jim White song TEN MILES TO GO ON A NINE MILE ROAD is like nothing else on the album and is the one track I found myself skipping with each listen.
DIAMONDS AND DIRT is an album that should certainly excite classic rock and blues rock fans but still offers up enough in the AOR stakes to garner some wider attention. All that’s left now is where Brian Robertson wants to go from here… Now that he has our attention will he capitalize and get another album on the way, preferably all of his own creation or we he fade straight back into obscurity and leave us all hanging for more. Nobody knows the answer to that question, but for now let’s just all enjoy this excellent little platter that serves as a stark reminded that music was simply better back then.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10