Andy Shanks
& Jim Russell,
Diamonds in the Night
(Culburnie, 1997)

Diamonds in the Night has an eclectic mixture of songs. Like most of the Culburnie label releases, it is essentially a contemporary folk recording -- even if this review comes six years after the release. The 13 tracks here bring us stories that are interesting, melodic and well worth hearing.

"Ash Pirates" is a fascinating song purporting to record meetings between two of Scotland's greatest novelists: Robert Louis Stevenson and S.R. Crocket (I must admit ignorance of the latter). The song draws us back to a life in the 18th century.

Here too are songs of ecology and social justice. "Money Guns and the Green Green Forest" reminds us of the fact that the minority of people control the majority of the land. "Street Dances" is like a travelogue of Glasgow and the music of the city.

The tunes are well written and played with feeling. Unfortunately, none of them reach out and grab the attention. This is an album of "album-oriented songs that will reward the interested and attentive listener.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 24 May 2003

Buy it from