There's a scripture in the Bible -- not to mention a classic Byrds song -- that reminds us that to everything there is a season and that there is a time for every purpose. Diamond Rio's
There's a scripture in the Bible -- not to mention a classic Byrds song -- that reminds us that to everything there is a season and that there is a time for every purpose. Diamond Rio's forthcoming album, "One More Day," is a perfect example.
"We've always taken that philosophy," says the band's lead vocalist, Marty Roe, of releasing no album before its time. "If you look back into our history, we don't crank out albums really fast and aren't afraid to stay away a little while if we don't feel like we're done. For us, it's kind of like painting a portrait and never standing back and looking at it for a while. [If you] just paint it, get it all done, and spin it out the door, then later on, you see it on someone else's wall and you go, 'Man, that is terrible.' "
The group originally thought its new album would be released about this time last year. But as often happens in the record business, the project was delayed by a variety of forces, among them Arista/Nashville's transition to an RCA Label Group (RLG) imprint.
"Since we didn't know what we were going to do or who we were going to be working with, we went back in and [decided] we'd just use the time to work a little further on the album and do another song search," says Roe of the record, which the band co-produced with longtime producer Michael Clute.
The extra time proved fruitful. Although the album's first single, "Stuff," didn't fare as well as hoped at country radio, the band's current single, "One More Day," is proving a solid launch pad for the album. "It has touched a nerve with our listeners," says Tonya Campos, music director at KZLA Los Angeles. "The song could be about death; it could be about the breakup of a relationship; it could be about anything that's going on where you miss someone, whatever the circumstance is... It's a beautiful, beautiful song."
Although excited about the success of "One More Day," RLG senior VP/GM Butch Waugh is enthusiastic about the album as a whole. "All the songs have a lot of substance to them," he says. "There's some nice uptempo songs, some great midtempos, and some incredible ballads, but the one thing you do realize when you go through the album is how there is something valuable being said in every song. There are some powerful lyrics in these songs, and, of course, they just deliver them incredibly."
Roe feels "One More Day" is the most diverse collection the band has ever recorded. "We were able to find a bluegrass tune we liked enough to record, 'Hearts Against The Wind.' We've been asked about maybe doing a whole bluegrass album. We've just never had time," he says.
"We recorded a song called 'I'm Trying,' which has a very pointed lyric about substance abuse, basically alcohol. It's about how a couple has dealt with it, and how it's affected their relationship," he adds. After recording the song, Roe says, the group felt it would have even more impact as a duet. So they invited Chely Wright to sing on it. "She was a real trouper," he says. "It's not exactly in her key, but it ended up showing a different side of her.
"We also did a song that was scary for me. I had to speak the lyric instead of singing it," Roe says. "I didn't think it was going to turn out very good. It's called 'Here I Go Falling.' It's real neat and different. That's something we've always tried to do -- keep re-creating who we are and what we do and push ourselves in the studio."
Since its 1991 debut, Diamond Rio has cultivated a reputation for being musically inventive. And its lineup has remained unchanged, which consists of guitarist Jimmy Olander, keyboardist Dan Truman, drummer Brian Prout, bassist Dana Williams, lead vocalist Roe, and Gene Johnson on mandolin and harmony vocals.
During the last decade, Diamond Rio has scored 16 top 10 singles out of the 24 singles that have been released, among them "Mama Don't Forget To Pray For Me," "Love A Little Stronger," "You're Gone," and "Unbelievable." This year the band, which has netted both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association vocal group trophies, will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its debut single, "Meet In The Middle," topping the charts for two weeks in June 1991.
Diamond Rio is poised to expand its boundaries. "We might start doing the rock band thing, having different things on our own," says Roe, emphasizing that the group isn't splitting up, just branching out. "Gene is going to be working on a bluegrass project. Dan already has a jazz project that is out in Japan right now, which is totally different and cool. Jimmy has talked about doing an instrumental album of his own. "
"I've got two ideas on the line right now. I might do both. I'm a huge fan of Marty Robbins' and grew up listening to him. I would really enjoy maybe getting some of the guys that played on some of those records and doing a tribute to him or a Christian project.