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Diamond Rio Biography

Diamond Rio Biography

Diamond Rio is an American country music band formed in 1984 in Nashville, Tennessee. Since its foundation, the group has comprised the same six members: Gene Johnson (mandolin, guitar, fiddle, tenor vocals), Jimmy Olander (lead guitar), Brian Prout (drums), Marty Roe (lead vocals), Dan Truman (keyboards, organ, synthesizer), and Dana Williams (bass guitar, baritone vocals). Diamond Rio was signed to Arista Records in 1988. Due to a series of health issues affecting three of its members, however, the band did not make its debut until 1991, with the release of the single "Meet in the Middle". It reached Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, making Diamond Rio the first country music group in history to top the charts with its debut single. "Meet in the Middle" was followed by thirty-two more chart singles throughout the band's career, including four more Number Ones: "How Your Love Makes Me Feel" (1997), "One More Day" (2001), "Beautiful Mess" (2002), and "I Believe" (2003). To date, Diamond Rio has recorded seven studio albums, two Greatest Hits compilations, and an album of Christmas music. Three of the band's albums have achieved RIAA platinum certification in the United States. In addition, Diamond Rio has received four Group of the Year awards from the Country Music Association, two Top Vocal Group awards from the Academy of Country Music, and thirteen Grammy Award nominations.

Since its inception, Diamond Rio has been a self-contained band, playing all the music on their albums by themselves; starting with One More Day, however, some of their songs occasionally featured accompaniment from a string section. Their early music blended neotraditionalist country with occasional traces of country rock, primarily in the song's rhythm sections.  A bluegrass influence has also been shown, primarily in the three-part harmonies among lead vocalist Marty Roe, baritone vocalist Dana Williams and tenor vocalist Gene Johnson. Bluegrass influences are also shown in the band's prominent use of the mandolin, as well as in the bluegrass instrumentals featured on many of their albums. The band's later material has tended towards pop-oriented ballads, such as "I Believe" and "One More Day" — songs which received critical acclaim for their often religious-themed messages, but were considered departures from the more traditional material of their first four albums. Another trademark of Diamond Rio's sound is the custom-built B-Bender guitar played by Olander.He refers to this instrument as the Taxicaster because of its yellow body and black-and-white checkered pickguard, which give it the coloration of a taxicab.

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