03 May 2011


Hi Rick,
I am a french one-man-band, playing punk blues style. I am going to release my first LP next month on Beast Records ( Black Diamond Heavies, Hipbone Slim, Chicken Snake, Shake it Like a Caveman ). I thought you could be interested in reviewing this record for your Deep Blues blog. Tracks are available on myspace for preview.

Information on
Chicken Diamond:
Chicken Diamond is a punk blues one-man-band. He is influenced by the North Mississippi bluesmen (RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough…), as well as noisy/punk rock’n roll (The Stooges, The Velvet Undergound, Suicide…). His first record includes 10 tracks either recorded in live conditions or backed up by an electronic rhythm section.

Chicken Diamond has shared the stage in France with artists such as: Black Diamond Heavies, Jake La Botz, James Leg, Shake It like a Caveman…
Binic Festival (with Left Lane Cruiser, Radio Moscow…)

Please let me know if you need more information.
Thank you
Chicken Diamond

I'm totally digging this dudes stuff. 
It's like a combo of Honkeyfinger meets the Velvets meets Hollowbelly vs I don't know what. Mountains of fat groove and over-driven, raw, sexy metallic stoney blues swagger. 

I did a quick email FAQ with the man known as Chicken Diamond. 
Here's what I found out:

How long have you been playing, and have you always done the one-man band thing? What kind of equipment, besides the appropriate wine crate stomp box? Will there be a digital download of the album available at some time?

I’ve started playing at 15 or so, so it’s like 22 years ago. When I was a student I played in some noisy/punk bands. I also played as kind of noisy OMB a couple of times, with a drum machine plugged into a distortion pedal.

I really didn’t touch a guitar for 10 years maybe. I started again like 5/6 years ago. I had always been interested in blues, but didn’t know how to play it. I listened to the Black Keys, then Junior Kimbrough, Fred McDowell. I tried to play these kind of riffs. I wanted to have a kind of dirty and “vintage” sound. So I got a Telecaster, a Danelectro and a Cornell Amp.
Then I wanted to do “real” songs, so I got interested into what I could do with computers for backing me up. I used some drums and bass samples and learned programming and recording. I have set up a small studio under my roof. And I have recorded things, like the ones you heard which sounds more or less like a band.
Then I put these things over the web because I thought maybe somebody could be interested into putting this on a record. I got some contacts and proposals for playing live. I did some gigs with the computer, but it was not that good. So, I looked for something that would give me more freedom while I was playing. And I did this thing with the wooden box and a crash cymbal. That’s also when I started playing guitar differently, always playing the bass with my thumb. There are some tracks that I played that way on the record. 

By the way, there is no plan for download now: the label is not at all into this. They are more focused on vinyl.

What's happening, music-wise in France? I know Biram, BDH & James Leg, and others always do well there.
Has that inspired a OMB or other kind of punk infected blues scene there?

Regarding France, that’s not really the land of rock’n roll! BDH, Left Lane Cruiser, Bob Log III, Shake it like a Caveman, etc are touring here, but they don’t often do really big stages, unfortunately. They are starting getting recognition now. There is this festival in Binic, which is helping a lot. 

There are also some other festivals open to punk blues ( Blues autour du zinc, Blues sur Seine, Blues Rules Crissier Festival in Switzerland…).

I would say on the “sort of” punk blues, only Jon Spencer is really kind of popular here, playing big festivals. Black Keys, since they changed their style are also doing well.
There are some good one man bands, but they are more on Hasil Adkins side I think ( King Automatic, Sheriff Perkins, Venus Fly Trip One Woman Band, Mr Bonz, Dusty Dandy ). The only one I know, who is more into blues is Birds Are Alive. There are also Thee Verduns, a duo (I think they played in the US). But I do not know all the ones who are touring: OMBs are generally playing in small places and don’t get too much exposure.

Chicken Diamond has been kind enough to let me share one of my favourite tracks off the album with you. For free. 

Chicken Diamond - Bones - mp3

Chicken Diamond's album will be available (vinyl only!) in early June and is limited to 500 vinyl copies. It's available for pre-order from Beast Records

Chicken Diamond @ Facebook // MySpace // Beast Records


ratel said...

Chicken's a good pal and a strong musician (you should see him live if you get the chance) but I'd say he's letting his love for the bands he quotes and his wish to see them get the huge recognition they deserve get the best of him a bit in his comments about the French scene. We're not there yet, and the 1000-seats venues are still next to impossible to get anyone booked in, but we ain't doing that bad either. Bands like Jim Jones Revue, Heavy Trash, Bob Log, Bloodshot Bill etc. have got quite a strong reputation here, with sold-out medium-sized venues not being unknown, and part of their public is growing an interest for the Deep Blues stuff, as are the garage and psychobilly scenes; there are even astonishingly good reactions from the mainstream public, if and when they get the opportunity to hear any. So come tour France, and help us build up this awareness !


Thanks Ratel! Great to hear from you, pal. Chicken Diamond just sent me a message.Perhaps you poked him with a stick? He said "Following your article, I received some remarks from friends about people I had forgotten to mention (see below). And also the fact that even if the mainstream scene is not very rock’n roll, there are a lot of small structures trying to setup things (record labels, concerts, festivals…), so the country is not like a desert if you like good music!"




Send me mail, Ratel. We need to stay in touch! ricksaunders at gmail dot com

y said...

Thanks Rick. Sorry for taking so long, I wanted to give you a comprehensive coverage of the French scene blah blah and this and that came up and... One day soon, I hope.

And no, I didn't poke Chicken any - you've heard him : I wouldn't dare ;°p