Loose Diamonds

Loose Diamonds
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Austin; Roots Rock Loose Diamonds: Austin, Texas; 1990- The Highwaymen: Dayton, Ohio; 1985-1989 In 1985, brothers Troy and Mike Campbell formed a roots rock band in Dayton, Ohio known as the Highwaymen. They cut a single and a mini LP (rockers and countryish ballads), but in 1989, under the influence of the True Believers and other Austin bands, the Campbells with drummer Mark Patterson in tow relocated to Central Texas. Shortly thereafter, they began to put together a new version of the Highwaymen and got a break when they found singer/guitarist Jud Newcomb one evening at an open mike session. With him on board, they began performing and in 1990 recorded an impressive live cassette, Live Texas Radio, (on KUT) for Jungle Records. Then, Patterson departed to be replaced by a succession of drummers. The big change, however, was a decision to switch names to avoid confusion with "the other" Highwaymen. They chose Loose Diamonds after a Jo Carol Pierce song, did some tracks with Stephen Bruton producing, and finally got a deal with Dos, a subsidiary of Antone's. This resulted in Burning Daylight which won Austin Music Awards Album of the Year and NAIRD's Rock Album of the Year for 1993. The particular strengths of the band were the guitar playing of Newcomb, the vocals of Troy Campbell, and the songwriting skills of both. They have sometimes been compared to the Jayhawks but more often to The Band with their combination of rock, blues, country, and folk. Loose Diamonds switched to Austin's new Americana label, Freedom, in 1996 and released a 7 track EP called Fresco Fiasco. It was their most acoustic effort since 1990 and featured guest artists Toni Price and Champ Hood. In 1997, Loose Diamonds took advantage of their popularity in Europe by doing some recordings for Glitterhouse. However, by the end of the century, the band was pretty much in limbo as its members went on to pursue individual projects. --David Goodman, author of Modern Twang: An Alternative Country Music Guide and Directory
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