June 21st, 2007 12:04 EST
Lucie Diamond Duets with US Grammy Winner Elbert McClinton
Lucie Diamond joins a star-studded list of female singers including Bonnie Raitt, Tanya Tucker and Martina McBride who have all sung duets with multi Grammy winner Delbert McClinton.
The Texas-born roots star added his worldclass vocal skills to Lucie's debut album "I Wanna Be Rich" at the end of May in a top Nashville recording studio, on track number 7 - the rocking "Closed Curtain."
Having previously only dueted with one European artist before - a Norwegian in 1992 - Lucie is the first non American to sing with Delbert in more than 15 years, and the only British artist to ever duet with him.
Winning a Grammy for his last CD "Cost Of Living," and a prolific songwriter with his songs covered by a host of big names in country and blues, Delbert is at the top of his game and delivered a blistering soul-soaked vocal to add to Lucie's raunchy delivery on the song. Some of Nashville's finest A-list session players provided the music on the track.
"Closed Curtain" is written by one of Nashville's best known session singers, Bekka Bramlett, daughter of Delaney and Bonnie. She co-wrote the song with Danny Wilde, former lead singer of The Rembrandts, who wrote and sang the theme tune to US sit-com, Friends.
Lucie had previously cut the song as a duet more than 2 years ago, with a San Diego based soul singer who her manager/producer managed at the time, but it was never released.
"My producer wanted me to sing a duet on this album and I wasn't that keen, to be honest. But I began to go through some songs and see if I had written anything, or started to write anything suitable. A duet is a difficult thing to write, to avoid it being too sugary and it relies on the chemistry of the two singers. Then the producer said, 'hey, remember this one, this could work well' and I instantly knew that 'Closed Curtain' was the song I had to do. He then spoke to Danny Wilde at his LA home, and he gave his blessing for us to record the song as a duet."
"It is funny, but there was only ever one man who we knew was the right choice to sing this song with me. We both agreed Delbert could make this song sound fantastic, it would be a unique pairing and we both absolutely love his voice. The producer has a stack of Delbert's CDs, and names him as one of his all-time favourite singers in any genre of music.
"We agreed that if Delbert was to say no, we would not have a duet on the CD at all. I have been asked by quite a few singers to duet with them over the last couple of years, but we have always declined. I had a number one in Europe in 2005 with my only previous duet, and we were anxious not to just churn out any old duet after that or anything that was not representative of me now. When Delbert said he liked my voice and the song, and was delighted to be involved, we were totally ecstatic.
"When he turned up at the studio in Nashville on 31st May and sang the song, it was just a wonderful day and Delbert was a really lovely guy and so easy to work with. On a duet there must be chemistry, and we all think there is with us on this song. Hopefully you can hear the humour of the day in the way we sing the song. I just had a big grin on my face all day as it was so, so cool to work with Delbert. I am so proud of what we did and I love the track so much. Bekka is a great writer who I'd just love to write with, the band played it just right and Delbert was Delbert. His voice is as good now as it has ever been. I hope people who buy the CD will love it too and I so hope I get the opportunity to work with him again. He just oozes soul."
Coincidentally, Bekka Bramlett has provided backing vocals on Delbert's last 4 records and she is a close family friend, Godmother to his daughter Delaney, who accompanied him to the recording session with Lucie. He told Bekka he was recording her song with Lucie and she was thrilled, keen to hear the end result. Bekka is also one of Lucie's favourite female singers.
Delbert McClinton is not the only Grammy winner to guest star on Lucie's debut CD. Guitar legend Albert Lee plays on the track "I Wanna Love You Wild Sometimes." Among the big gun session players is Robby Turner on pedal steel and dobro, two world tours with the Dixie Chicks under his belt, and he has worked with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and currently in the studio with Loretta Lynn. Drummer Brian Barnette is on most Big & Rich albums, and has played with Don Williams, Elton John and Sheryl Crowe among others. Larry Franklin is the number one fiddle player in Nashville. Backing vocalist Dana McVicker sings on every Travis Tritt album. Danny Parks on guitar is on hundreds of major albums and a very sought after studio player.
Of the 12 tracks on "I Wanna Be Rich," Lucie co-wrote 4 of them. The haunting ballad "I Wish I Could Re-Write The Ending," based on a true story from Lucie's life in the UK countryside, and co-written with Rachael Thibodeau who penned a current hit for Martina McBride. Lucie also wrote "Read My Lips" with UK writer Catherine Rushton. "My Ex True Love" with Bat McGrath, who writes for Kenny Rogers and Wynonna among other big country stars. "Don't Mess Me Up," with Nashville writer Brent Anderson who is signed to Garth Brooks' management, Major Bob Publishing.
The album is described by music journalist James Soars in the July issue of Maverick magazine as "....a dozen killer tracks, no fillers." Lucie Diamond is interviewed over 4 pages in issue 60, July 2007, the 5th anniversary issue of Maverick and the writer says Lucie is: "a world class artist, songwriter and performer.....She really is something special: a real Diamond."
"I Wanna Be Rich" is to be released on Big Feat Records on 14th July, the same date Lucie headlines the biggest country music festival in Europe to at least 40,000 people, at Mirande, France. The only British artist to ever headline that festival in its 15 year history.