Friday, December 18, 2009

Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio (with Tom Roland)

Can a band comprised of six very talented but very different musicians make a difference with their music?
What made it possible for Diamond Rio to weather the storms inherent in the fickle world of fame and fortune and go more than two decades without a single lineup change? Any reader in search of transparency and a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the band as a unit as well as the individual lives of the players and singers will be well satisfied. Can true loyalty exist within the competitive, seemingly unforgiving music industry? In A Beautiful Mess, Marty Roe, Dan Truman, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Gene Johnson, and Dana Williams each has an entire chapter devoted to his personal and professional life. A Beautiful Mess is a wild ride from the edge of disaster and a little-known secret to an ongoing heart-warming revival.

What can I say?  I'm a Diamond Rio fan.  I have been, ever since their very first hit - Meet in the Middle - debuted on the country music charts in 1991.  I was raised on music and, right away, I could tell that this was a band that I was going to love.  The rich harmonies and the wonderful musical sounds were addicting.  I quickly bought their cd and I was hooked.  I bought the next cd, and the next . . . I loved singing along with their songs - both the catchy, fun ones  and the hauntingly beautiful ballads. 

I was thrilled when I heard that they were coming to our local county fair in 2001.  Having a famous band here in our little corner of PA was big news (and, in my personal opinion, there have been no acts to rival them here before or since).  Brian bought me tickets to go see them, and we had front row grandstand seats.  I loved that concert!  (I only wish I had pictures to share!)
I hadn't heard anything from Diamond Rio in awhile, so I was excited last week when my daughter came to me and said "Guess what, Mom? Diamond Rio has a book out!"  She knows I'm a fan - she is too (it's in the genes).  So, needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw the book on the Thomas Nelson blog review list!  Call me crazy; but the book came in the mail yesterday and I finished reading it today.  I just couldn't put it down! 

Marty, Jimmy, Dan, Gene, Brian, and Dana all contribute to this book by sharing their personal stories.  You'll learn how they got their start in Opryland, USA, how the band was formed, how they decided on a name, and all the twists and turns in the road that got them where they are today.  Guess what?  It wasn't all easy and fun.  These guys have faced adversity and trials.  But, they've remained true to themselves and true to Diamond Rio as a whole. 

I enjoyed learning a bit more about each group member as an individual - learning about their personal lives, upbringing, and the things that led them into music.I also enjoyed seeing all the great pictures - straight from the member's personal photo collections.  And, at the end, I was thrilled to learn that, even after 20 years in the music business, Diamond Rio is still going strong.  I was especially impressed to learn of all the work they do in support of Big Brothers & Big Sisters (a very reputable cause) and that their latest release is on Word Records - The Reason.  (I'll definitely be adding it to my cd collection - can't wait!)
Diamond Rio fans, this book is a must!  You can learn more about the book by viewing this video.

NOTE: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my honest review.
Had I paid for it, my thoughts would still be the same.

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