?/08/2007 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Concerto Austria
An Album that takes of a little rocky with `Glad Rags` but soon resolves into the classical blues.
The drummer-singer from Portland was on the road with the Terraplanes for 11 years before moving to Amsterdam in 1997. Boyd played a.o. with Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins and is part of the Billy Jones Band in Europe.
Boyd approaches his compositions with unusual ease, the same goes for his distinctive voice, but uses his vast experience too in covers like Jimmy D Lanes `Lemon Squeezer` or Hubert Sumlins `Look don´t Touch`, where the latter consequently starts with a short drum intro to transform into a very speedy boogie.
Next to Boyd Monti Amundson a.o. makes his appearance.
03-07-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Blues Art Studio an Austrian magazine.
This is a no-nonsense release from powerful singer and drummer Boyd, recorded in his home-town of Portland, Oregon, during August 2006.
He has a strong, pleading vocal style and is backed by several guitarists (who are also friends) – the excellent Monti Amundson (I wondered what had happened to him!), Peter Damman, Josh Fulero, and the relatively famous Lloyd Jones - who all add real bite with some ferocious playing, though never straying too far from the straight blues, and the whole is anchored by the solid bass of long-time associate Willy Barber and Boyd’s own muscular drumming.
Boyd has written some fine original material for this set, and his borrowings show that whilst he has a sense of the blues tradition (Big Joe Turner/ Pete Johnson’s ‘Cherry Red’, Johnny Otis’s ‘Country Girl’), he also keeps up with the latest developments (Jimmy D. Lane’s ‘Lemon Squeezer’) – and there is a lovely rocker in Hubert Sumlin’s ‘Look Don’t Touch’.
To sum up then, a fine set of rock solid blues - I enjoyed this one a lot.
----- Norman Darwen
16-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Rocktimes.de a German magazine.
For 10 years now, the Portland, Oregon, American drummer Boyd Small has been living in Amsterdam. Boyd has already played with many Bluesers, o.a. Byther Smith, Big George Jackson, Billy Jones, but also musicians like: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin und Guitar Shorty are on his list. Boyd can look back at three albums and with "Diamond Boy" he succeeded to make another great CD.
Who will be surprised, as with four excellent guitarists (Monti Amundson, Peter Damman, Josh Fulero und Lloyd Jones)clenched quality was in the studio. Monti Amundsons presence alone would have been enough to make "Diamond Boy" a superb album.
That with: Peter Damman from the Paul Delay band, Josh Fulero (Curtis Salgado Band) and Lloyd Jones who has his own band, more guitar-blues representatives found Ross W. Hamilton Portlander Studio at the 1st of august 2006, finishes this coin of silver brilliantly.
Recorded live from start to finish, Boyd Small succeeded big time with "Diamond Boy".
The mix of covers and originals, 5 out of 11 tracks are his, is well balanced. It gives a nice cross section of the genre where the 50's blues is not forgotten.
His music always has a rocky edge and so Small understands the art of writing both subtle and rocky 12-bar songs that nest between the covers like a purring kitten that feels right at home.
To start at the end we drop into "Make Mama's Proud". A Stevie Ray Vaughan feeling comes up and what the guitareros play here tastes ever so good. Wonderful breaks and hook lines make this track a hit. Here everybody has his solo and has his own frame to show his best. It starts very well with the pushing "Glad Rags", played with mighty pumping bass. Hard to tell how many guitars are playing there. After a short drum intro Small immediately convinces as a singer too. One solo is followed by the next whilst in the background the guitars are strumming.
With Jimmy D. Lanes "Lemon Squeezer" the band shifts two gears back and serve a slow-blues of Gigantic proportions. Here too the string-wizzards push each other to immense heights.
You got to enjoy a party when it comes! This could be the motto, when you reflect that the project "Diamond Boy" grew sort of spontaneously during a promotion tour for Monti Amundsons CD "Somebody Happened To Our Love". "Hat Back Blues" is another song by Boyd Small. A song with a grooving laid-back feeling and, no surprise, peppered with guitars, guitars and more guitars.
You can't loose the feeling that all was played in one take. The sound of the CD is "vintage" in a way. Nothing was polished afterwards. Now and again you hear an amp hum and you can hear the musicians communicate as it were a live show. As in f.i. Johnny Otis "Country Girl". A tip for a more easy side of the music must be "Dell Ray", also written by the drummer/singer, and this title track is pure joy of playing.
In Hubert Sumlin's Rock & Roller "Look Don't Touch" Small give a short drum solo and the solo-guitarists play their fingertops to blisters. The riffs of the "semi-acoustic" round up his song and then were already back at the last song.
Boyd Small's "Diamond Boy" has a bit of mega.... megagood, megamood, megasound, megaguitars.
14-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Keys & Chords - Belgium
About ten years ago Boyd Small ater a tour with Monti Amundson decided to stay for 'awhile'.
The drummer from Portland, Oregon worked as a producer for the blues label Cool Buzz. Next to that he handled the drumsticks for o.a. Byther Smith and Big George Jackson. Furthermore Boyd is a pretty good singer.
Still he is at his best behind the kettles as his drumming proves on "Whipping Boy" and the borrowed Hubert Sumlin song "Look don't Touch". The studio sessions took place last year in in his birth state and, as he claims, during a sizzling heat wave.
On a handful of originals and covers by Johnny Otis and Big Joe Turner his regular bassman Willy Barber as well as the guitarists Lloyd Jones, Peter Damman, old friend Amundson and Josh Fulero (Curtis Salgado).all starguitarists from the local scene in Portland who with their specific sound provide the necessary variation.
The end result of the in the Netherlands finished sessions sounds slightly fantastic at times.
The strong opener "Glad Rags" is right on the spot and "Country Girl" too floats on such a irresistible shuffle and perfect rhythmic timing.
Rocking and snoring blues, not to be confused by the straight-out boring and by decibels dominated stuff that torments our ears under the name of bluesrock.
Cis Van Looy *** ½
14-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Bobtjes Blues Pages
Boyd Small, the American, born in Portland (USA) who, after a tour with guitarist Monti Amundson, traded the US for Amsterdam, has built a strong reputation in the European blues scene the last 10 years. Boyd is a.o. the big guy behind the blues- and roots label Cool Buzz that was founded by him and here he worked as a producer for a number of American and Dutch bands such as Monti Amundson, Jim Wallace, T-99 and the Cuban Heels. Next to this he worked as a drummer singer with a.o. Big George Jackson and Byther Smith.
In 2005 he started a collaboration project with Monti Amundson, with whom he recorded he CD 'Somebody's Happened to Our Love'. Boyd wrote half of the songs for this CD and also sang half the songs.
Now, in 2007, his latest work "Diamond Boy" was released. This new sound carrier by Boyd Small was recorded in the burning heat of Portland, where Boyd at a blues session managed to surround himself with the best local and regional musicians. And it shows! Together with Peter Damman (Paul Delay Band), Josh Fulero (Curtis Saldago Band), Lloyd Jones, Willy Barber and Monti Amundson Small recorded a live CD with 5 fantastic originals and a number of not very obvious covers by a.o. Hubert Sumlin and Big Joe Turner.
The CD that was mixed in Amsterdam two weeks after recording has a total length of almost 48 minutes and isn't boring for one moment. The guitar work is very diverging because of the use of a Fender Stratocaster, a Les Paul and a Gibson and despite the presence of a substantial portion of guitar work, it is never overdone.
Boyd's fantastic voice sometimes reminds me of Isaac Heyes because of the light sob and next to being a superb singer Boyd proves to be phenomenon on drums. Especially in the songs 'Look Don't Touch' and 'Whipping Boy' his drummers qualities emerge in a superior way. Outstanding! 'Diamond Boy' is a CD that holds all the characteristics of a solid blues-CD. Excellent singing, fine guitar playing, tight drums, a wonderful groovin' bass and foremost a well balanced choice of songs with alternate solid songs and sensitive slow blues. Buy this record!
Reviewer: Bert Reinders
14-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Moors magazine
Blues, that's Boyd Smal's music.
Electric blues, with intense guitar solos, a voice recorded with a lot of reverb and lyrics that are not always very subtle ("I'm gonna squeeze your lemons"). And to start with the lyrics, they're not always very original ("Keep on walking mama"), but in the end that doesn't matter much, as long as the music is good. And that is most certainly the case here. Moreover there are a few very nice lyrics here as well ("I want my hat back!").
A loosely, jazzy playing drummer (Small himself), who, together with a snoring pushing bass player Willy Barber, lays down a strong bottom, this is already a big part of the beautiful thrilling sound . And then there's Monti Amundsen on a 1966 Gibson uit and Josh Fulero an a early Dillion Les Paul, where they use practically only antique amps and mikes. And it sounds fantastic! Especially the driven lead vocals by Small.
Recorded in Portland Oregon and mixed and mastered in Amsterdam.
Rocking en rolling blues, that's what we hear here. Old-fashioned, firm blues, but with a great original sound.
A wonderful record.
12-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" inBluesbreeker
The American multi-instrumentalist Boyd Small who lives in Amsterdam released a new CD with the title `Diamond Boy`. A title that applies completely to him, as testifies by this sound carrier.
You can give this his multi talent every musical instrument and he will play it like he´s never done anything else. Give him drumsticks or a bass guitar or ask him to sing, no problem, everything about this musician is great.
The same goes no doubt for "Diamond Boy" that is really full of a selection of beautiful songs recorded live in a studio in Oregon (USA) and mastered in Amsterdam. Both his own songs as some of the covers are of a superb class. Together with his musical allies, read 'friends', such as Monti Amundson, Willy Barber, Peter Damman, Josh Fulero and Lloyd Jones he filled this record. In general Boyd takes care of the drumming and singing and the more firm guitar parts are for the account of Monti Amundson.
It's has become a well sounding CD where I can't find any preference to a particular song just because every song is equally good. Because of the quality of the musicians but certainly because of the well constructed compositions. Even the Jimmy Otis song "Country Girl" is interpreted in a fine way. Not copied but simply in Boyd's own way. It all comes neatly together, every instrument and every musician fit together very well. Take "Del Ray", an original, there you listen to blues with a touch of jazz. A fine combination of musical styles that meets the ear. The sound of Boyd's voice is distinctive. A voice that emphasizes his own musical style and his own sound. And here's nothing wrong with that because he has the perfect voice.
"Diamond Boy" is a CD with eleven beautiful blues songs that clearly underline Boyd's qualities once again. Varied, not complex but straight forward blues. Foremost a very good collaboration with the mentioned musicians that shows in this excellent production.
02-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" inThe Bluesman
Boyd Small, the American, born in Portland (USA) who, after a tour with guitarist Monti Amundson, traded the US for Amsterdam, has built a strong reputation in the European blues scene the last 10 years.
Boyd is a.o. the big guy behind the blues- and roots label Cool Buzz that was founded by him and here he worked as a producer for a number of American and Dutch bands such as Monti Amundson, Jim Wallace, T-99 and the Cuban Heels. Next to this he worked as a drummer singer with a.o. Big George Jackson and Byther Smith.
In 2005 he started a collaboration project with Monti Amundson, with whom he recorded he CD ""Somebody's happened to our love'. Boyd wrote half of the songs for this CD and also sang half the songs.
Now, in 2007, his latest work "Diamond Boy" was released. This new sound carrier by Boyd Small was recorded in the burning heat of Portland, where Boyd at a blues session managed to surround himself with the best local and regional musicians.
And it shows!!
Together with Peter Damman (Paul Delay Band), Josh Fulero (Curtis Saldago Band), Lloyd Jones, Willy Barber and Monti Amundson Small recorded a live CD with 5 fantastic originals and a number of not very obvious covers by a.o. Hubert Sumlin and Big Joe Turner.
The CD that was mixed in Amsterdam two weeks after recording has a total length of almost 48 minutes and isn't boring for one moment. The guitar work is very diverge because of the use of a Fender Stratocaster, a Les Paul and a Gibson and despite the presence of a substantial portion of guitar work, it is never overdone. Boyd's fantastic voice sometimes reminds me of Isaac Heyes because of the light sob and next to being a superb singer Boyd proves to be phenomenon on drums. Especially in the songs "Look Don't Touch" and "Whipping Boy" his drummers qualities emerge in a superior way. Outstanding!!
"Diamond Boy" is a CD that holds all the characteristics of a solid blues-CD. Excellent singing, fine guitar playing, tight drums, a wonderful groovin' bass and foremost a well balanced choice of songs with alternate solid songs and sensitive slow blues.
Buy this record!!!!!
Review by: Bert 'The Bluesman' Reinders
01-06-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" inBlues-Bytes and the Spanish magazine Satelite Times.
Here's a man renowned in blues circles for his drumming and vocals - a blues equivalent to Phil Collins, if you like. I have to admit that, although I knew of him, I didn't know much about him, until now. I now find that he played drums with Jimmy Rogers, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Hubert Sumlin, Guitar Shorty & Pinetop Perkins - so he's had some very good experience.
So, why haven't we heard much of this Portland Oregon musician?
He has previously released 3 CDs on the Cool Buzz record label since relocating to Amsterdam, Holland - and as good as those CDs were, this new one is the one to have.
Five of the 11 tracks are originals, written by Boyd Small, the others are some carefully chosen covers of tracks by Jimmy Rogers,Johnny Otis, Big Joe Turner, Hubert Sumlin & J.T.Meire plus a trad blues "Glad Rags" which opens the album.
The Jimmy Rogers track, "Lemon Squeezer" follows and it really is a superb, faultless, version - slow & moody, with some fine bass playing by Willy Barber and some incredible guitar work.
Unfortunately, this brings me to the only criticism of the CD, and it's a very small one!
There are four guitarists listed in the CD notes, but nothing to say which one plays on which track - and that's a shame, as all the guitar work on this CD is top of the range.
Unusually, for an album that's split between originals and covers, the originals are, in some cases, better than the covers.
That says a lot for the song writing skills of Boyd Small, as well as for the musical ability of the band.
Track 6 "Del Ray" is a slow blues with an insistent beat from the drums & bass going on and some good guitar work - this is maybe the best of the originals, but in my view there isn't a bad one.
The best of the covers has to Hubert Sumlin's "Look Don't Touch" with it's strong, foot-tapping, boogie beat - this is excellent stuff! Although, the Jimmy Rogers song "Lemon Squeezer" comes a very close second.
Let's hope we hear more from Boyd Small & his band in the near future.
28-05-'07 Review on "Diamond Boy" in Bluesrock.nl.
"Diamond boy is drummer/singer "Boyd Small's" new CD. Boyd moved from Portland(USA) to Amsterdam in 1997 and co-founded the alternative roots and blues label "Cool Buzz". With Cool Buzz he produced different CD's by American and Dutch artists such as: Monti Amundson and The Cuban Heels.
"Diamond Boy" was recorded live in a heat wave in August 2006 in his native town Portland and was mixed 2 weeks later in Amsterdam. For the occasion Boyd asked the participation of the best blues musicians he could find in Portland. Willy Barber on bass guitar and Monti Amundson (Fender Strat), Peter Damman (Gibson ES 330), Josh Fulero (Dillion Les Paul)and Loyd Jones (Danelectro guitar)and of course Boyd himself who sings and takes care of all the drum parts.
The CD contains 11 songs and next to the new songs you can find a number of covers. The final result is stunning, blues with a lot of surprises in tempo and rhythm. No song on the CD is boring and the guitar parts of Amundson, Damman, Fulero and Jones is excellent. Boyd is both vocally as on drums at his best.
"Diamond Boy is a BIG tip for those people who love the blues and specifically guitar-music.