Hope Diamond Deans

Reviews

For blues-rock fans, the fortuitous pairing of guitarist Shea Welsh and vocalist Hope Diamond is truly a stroke of good luck that is fully realized on their new 21-minute mini-album. The 2024 release of Desert Blues Live by Shea Welsh & Hope Diamond: The Blues Experience captures the dynamic duo performing a series of blues-rock favorites in the company of a like-minded band including Eric Sittner (bass), Tony Moore (drums) and Michael Russeck (keys).

Echoing the legacy of fretboard greats of the past, Shea Welsh is one of the hottest electric guitarists in the Los Angeles area today also renowned for his work with his jazz quartet, his global music group Renaissance Heart as well as with Michelle Coltrane and her touring band. Hope Diamond is a celebrated singer drawing from her experience in both the R&B and jazz music world as is evidenced by her recent solo album Awaken.

The combustible mix of Shea’s smoking electric guitar skills and Hope’s gutsy R&B vocal sound is the focal point of Desert Blues Live. The combination of Shea and Hope is being compared to legacy blues legends like Texas guitar slinger Stevie Ray Vaughan with singer Koko Taylor and, upon hearing the fiery blues power in play here who can argue?

Musically, most long-time blues-rock fans know these songs inside out. Shea and Hope breathe new fire into Willie Dixon’s 1954 classic “I Just Want To Make Love To You”. Tampa Red and Elmore James are paid tribute on a cover of “It Hurts Me Too” while “I’d Rather Go Blind” echoes the Etta James version from 1967. Made famous by Koko Taylor ,“Voodoo Woman” kicks off the short but sweet set of fiery live blues.

One of the hottest teams on today’s music scene, Shea Welsh & Hope Diamond, The Blues Experience breathes new life into the timeless sound of the blues.

Robert Silverstein