With a career spanning seven years, a discography of four treasure-chest albums and fifteen Top 10 singles to their credit, this six-pack of harmony heaven continues to plunge forward with the release of a long-awaited Greatest Hits disc.
Country’s multi-award-winning band Diamond Rio, however, steps back a bit this time around to say thanks to those who’ve contributed to their phenomenal success — the songwriters.
With the Greatest Hits release slated for July 15, the high-profile sextet repositioned the spotlight normally focused on themselves to shine on the ones responsible for the music they’ve recorded to date.
“We wanted to salute the greatest friends a song could ever have,” remarked Diamond Rio front-man Marty Roe, following a special Music City celebration in honor of more than 70 tunesmiths who’ve written songs for the band’s previous albums, “and that’s the songwriters! For quite a while now, we’ve been trying to think of a way to recognize all these wonderful creative folks. Tonight was how we decided to go about it. And it sure was fun.”
Diamond Rio invited each and every songwriter who contributed to their albums, Diamond Rio, Close To The Edge, Love A Little Stronger and IV, to a quaint little cafe club in historic downtown Nashville. The event hosted an evening of food, fun and music, including a refreshing unplugged perfomance by none other than Diamond Rio.
“What better way to thank the songwriters than to give them an evening of their own, so we even played an unplugged set,” echoed the group’s lead guitarist, Jimmy Olander. “Wish we could have done all of their songs, but 45 songs seemed a little too much.
Following their performance of such country hits as “Mirror Mirror,” “Mama Don’t Forget To Pray For Me,” “In A Week Or Two,” “Love A Little Stronger,” “Holdin’,” “That’s What I Get From Loving You” and the song that launched this band to instant stardom in 1991 — “Meet In The Middle” — the band concluded the evening by presenting the songwriters with commemorative scrolls.
Diamond Rio’s new Greatest Hits package will feature a whopping eleven hits from the past, in addition to two newly-recorded cuts (“How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” the group’s current single from the project, and “Imagine That”). Another cut included on the new Hits disc is “She Misses Him On Sunday The Most,” a song from their IV album which was never released as a single.
Comprised of Roe, Olander, Gene Johnson, Brian Prout (drums), Dana Williams (bass, vocals) and Dan Truman (keyboards), Diamond Rio has quickly gone down in music history as one of the hottest bands to ever grace the country arena. Having garnered a string of gold and platinum honors for their millions of album sales, in addition to a long list of Grammy nominations, three Country Music Association Awards as Vocal Group of the Year and two Academy of Country Music trophies as Top Vocal Group, Diamond Rio continues to broaden the notch it carved by becoming the first band in country music history to have a debut single (“Meet In The Middle”) reach the No. 1 spot on every trade magazine chart. Adding to the long and winding list of accomplishments, Diamond Rio’s 1995 tour was certified as one of the largest grossing tours in country music.
Although Diamond Rio’s rich blend of vocal harmony and keen sense for song selection has placed them at the peak of country music’s recent explosion, each member of the band has also become tirelessly devoted to the charity world as well. For the past several years, the band has sponsored a celebrity golf tournament — raising thousands of dollars for such charity organizations as the American Lung Association. They’ve also volunteered their services as spokespersons for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, among numerous other charity support efforts.
In the midst of latching onto such incredible success in only a few short years, the band has remained quite faithful to the philosophy of always keeping things fresh and exciting. “We don’t want to just put our name on something and let that be the end of it,” explained Roe.
One such example is evident in how the band decided to promote a recent California concert. Close to 500-thousand Pepsi cans were sold throughout the Northern part of the Golden State with Diamond Rio’s picture and logo on each can. Pepsi helped the group to promote their July 5th concert at the Mt. Shasta Resort.
But the group’s current focus is not so much in promoting their Greatest Hits album as it is promoting the songwriters who made the new project possible. So on behalf of this dynamo band, thanks to all the girls and boys who make the noise — and made it real well for Diamond Rio:
Aaron Tippin, Annie Roboff, Billy Crittenden, Bob DiPiero, Bob Morrison, Bobby Tomberlin, Bryan White, Carl Jackson, Chapin Hartford, Christopher Morris, Chuck Jones, Craig Wiseman, Dale Oliver, Dan Truman, Debi Cochran, Dennis Linde, Derek George, Don Pfrimmer, Donny Lowery, Eric Silver, Gary Burr, Gene C. Johnson, Gene Dobbins, Gene Nelson, Gregory Swint, Herb McCullough, James House, Jim Foster, Jim McBride, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Jimmy Olander, John Jarrard, John Nance Sharp, John Tirro, Judy Rodman, Jule Medders, Karen Taylor-Good, Kelly Garrett, Kent Blazy, Larry Cordle, Larry Aschmann, Mark D. Sander, Marty Roe, Mary Ann Kennedy, Max T. Barnes, Michael Garvin, Michael Huffman, Michael Puryear, Mike Noble, Monty Powell, Neil Thrasher, Randy Albright, Reese Wilson, Rob Honey, Robert Ellis Orrall, Ronnie Samoset, Sam Hogin, Sam Mullins, Shawn Camp, Skip Ewing, Stan LaGrange, Steven Dale Jones, Tim Dubois, Tim Johnson, Tim Mensy, Tom Shapiro, Tony Martin, Trey Bruce, Van Stephenson, Wade Kimes and Walt Aldridge — the songwriters.