Storm alert! The third single from the upcoming Diamonds on the Road – Live 2023 album by Finnish slide guitar sorceress Erja Lyytinen, is the title track and the opener of the album.
The new single, accompanied with a live music video, is released Wednesday 13 September. The single is available on all streaming platforms HERE. The music video is available to watch on YouTube HERE.
Released worldwide by Tuohi Records on Friday 6th October 2023, the new live album is available to pre-order on double CD, vinyl, and digital from the official Erja Lyytinen shop HERE.
The Diamonds On The Road title track live single starts off with an oppressive mood that tells the story of a poor woman. She’s left alone in a shabby home with a baby, while her man has snuck out to be with his rich lover. She plans revenge in her bitter mind and rushes out into the rising storm. The cinematic feel of the song unravels into a mean slide guitar solo and to the explosive double tempo by the band in this blues rock – slide chase.
“There’s a slide solo in the outro, where I´m using lots of delay, whammy and distortion to create this gloomy feel,” says Erja about the new live single, “I wanted to have a “Strat” sound on this solo, so I’m playing with my Fencer Custom Shop Stratocaster in open G – tuning.
Some may argue that music is born in the studio, but it comes to life and evolves when performed live on stage. With a live album, there is no safety net. You get one shot at capturing those perfect moments and preserving them forever.
With the pandemic now firmly in our rear-view mirror Erja Lyytinen and her band have toured relentlessly. With the high-flying Finn in top form, the artist decided to capture the magic of their live performances on their new concert album, Diamonds on the Road – Live 2023.
“When playing live, you’ve got one moment to get it right, and then the moment is gone,” says Erja. “There is no correcting stuff later. It is very raw and exciting to play and sing at the same time. The adrenaline runs through your body, and everything around you affects your performance.”
The release marks Erja Lyytinen’s fourth live album, and follows on from Songs from the Road, Live in London, and Lockdown Live. The new album is the first concert release from the gifted guitarist to capture the post-Covid live experience.
“Diamonds on the Road was recorded towards the end of our Spring tour in March 2023,” says Erja. “We played ten shows in a row, of which eight sold out. The band had a good flow going, and the songs were rolling nicely.”
CD Track Listing
1. Diamonds On The Road 4:48
2. Rocking Chair 4:00
3. Bad Seed 5:26
4. Black Ocean 7:13
5. Waiting For The Daylight 6:40
6. Väinämöinen Tuonelassa 5:42
7. Last Girl 5:42
8. Never Really Had You 6:32
1. You Talk Dirty 6:49
2. Lover´s Novels 5:13
3. Wedding Day 11:35
4. Crosstown Traffic 4:26
5. The End Of Music 10:54
Since pandemic restrictions were lifted, the artist has graced the stages of venues and festivals across Europe and beyond. Unlike Lockdown Live, which captured a key moment in time during the pandemic, the artist’s new double live album highlights the joys of once again being able to perform in front of a sold-out crowd.
“Compared to our previous live recording Lockdown Live, which was filmed and recorded as a streaming gig without an actual audience during the first two months of the pandemic in 2020, this was quite different with an interactive crowd,” reflects Erja. “The show took place at Rytmikorjaamo, Seinäjoki, in the Western part of Finland. On the night of the recording, people were enjoying the live performance, cheering to the solos, dancing, and having a good time together next to each other.”
Over the years, Erja Lyytinen’s sound has evolved dramatically. Beginning with her traditional blues roots, Lyytinen has been simultaneously pushing forward with a hard rock-orientated style of play whilst always keeping that blues sound at the core of everything she does. “My sound has changed since the last live recording. My playing has more of a hard-rock element and edge,” says Erja.
Erja attributes some of those changes to her equipment and repertoire of trusty axes. “Since my last live recording, my live guitar arsenal has grown quite a bit. I have five to six guitars, from Strats and Teles to custom-made guitars, on stage with me. It´s quite cool to dig out the different characteristics of each guitar. I´m using my road-worn Fender Custom Shop guitar on the songs Black Ocean and Never Really Had You. I had the guitar fine-tuned right before the tour and added it to my live arsenal. I feel as though it has been a sin to keep this Strat as my sofa guitar for years!”
The songs featured on Diamonds On The Road showcase the old, the new, the borrowed and the blues. “For the set list of the live album, we had a mixture of my favourite old songs and then a selection of the songs from my latest studio album, Waiting for The Daylight,” explains Erja. “We also recorded a Jimi Hendrix classic, Crosstown Traffic. I made my own version of it by playing the song using slide! It is so cool to play the song, and, on the recording, it is our first encore.”
Diamonds on the Road – Live 2023 includes an exclusive feature not found in the artist’s previous concert albums. “I wrote a song based on artwork by famous Finnish artist Pekka Halonen´s painting ‘Väinämöinen Tuonelassa’. The piece tells the story of the Finnish epic saga, Kalevala, where a shaman called Väinämöinen goes to the Underworld. The song is slightly folk metal and sung in Finnish. It is a cool addition to the set list, making this live recording my first to have a song sung in Finnish,” explains Lyytinen.
The new live album showcases Erja and the band doing what they do best, playing concerts for their fans. “I have always loved performing live, but now, I enjoy playing even more and saying this on behalf of my band; I think they do, too. Performing live is stronger, more relaxed, and empowering. I´m grateful to be a guitarist and singer who is giving her best for the audience each night. It’s the best thing you can do with your pants on,” concludes Erja.
Erja Lyytinen: Guitar, Vocals
Petri Rahikkala: Keyboards
Tatu Back: Bass, Backing vocals
Iiro Laitinen: Drums
Olli Huttunen: FOH, Mixing Engineer
Hertta Hynninen: Tour Assistant
Helmi Lind: Production Manager
Recorded by Olli Huttunen at Rytmikorjaamo, Seinäjoki Finland 11th of March 2023
Mixed by Matias Kiiveri in Hollywood House, Helsinki Finland
Mastered by Svante Forsbäck, Chartmakers, Espoo Finland
Graphic design by Jan Yrlund, Darkgrove Design
Cover photography by Denis Carpentier
Executive producer Erja Lyytinen for Bluesland Productions
All songs by Erja Lyytinen except “Crosstown Traffic” by Jimi Hendrix,
Published by Universal/MCA Music Scand Ab
14.09. DE – Wuppertal, Burgerbahnhof Vohwinkel
15.09. NL – Heerlen, Theater Heerlen
16.09. NL – Heyhoef, Backstage Bridges
17.09. DE – Bonn, Harmonie
18.09. DE – Weinheim, Muddy´s Club
19.09. DE – Erfurt, Museumskeller
21.09. DE – Oldenburg, Cadillac
22.09. DE – Berlin, Biesdorfer Parkbühne
23.09. DE – Kellinghusen, Ulmenhofschulen
08.11. UK – Leicester, The Musician Pub
09.11. UK – Oxford, The Haven
11.11. UK – Sedgefield, Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club
12.11. UK – Newcastle, Erja Lyytinen Solo
14.11. UK – Sheffield, The Greystones
05.04. UK – Newcastle, The Cluny
06.04. UK – Edinburgh Blues Club, The Voodoo Rooms
13.04. UK – Sheffield, HRH Blues Festival
19.04. France – Freyming-Merlebach, Le Gouvy