12/01/10 22:41 Filed in: Album Reviews
Soulful, poignant and delicate are just some of the words being used to describe the music of West country-based singer/songwriter Diana Johnstone. Born in Plymouth, Devon, Diana began singing and playing guitar in her late teens at the famous Folk Cottage in Mitchell, Cornwall, performing alongside Mike Silver, Clive Palmer and Ralph McTell.
There she met and subsequently married multi-instrumentalist, Davey Johnstone (Magna Carta, Noel Murphy, Joan Armatrading.) In 1972, Davey was asked to join the Elton John band just as the Rocket Mans career was heading into the stratosphere. For Davey, Diana and their son Tam the next few years would be spent in a whirlwind of whistle stop tours and incredible celebrity encounters: Groucho Marx at the Beverly Hills hotel, Stevie Wonder ..boards aboard the Starship (Eltons private plane), Gracie Fields, John Lennon During this time, Davey recorded a solo album for Eltons Rocket Records label with legendary record producer Gus Dudgeon at the helm. The album, Smiling Face (now remastered and released on Sound City records) features three songs co-written by Diana.
She also sings lead vocals on the track A Lovely Day (as featured in playwright Willie Russells Daughters of Albion - Yorkshire TV, 1977.) When Diana and Davey divorced in the mid-1970s, Diana took up a career in film and TV set design (working with director Nic Roeg and actor Tony Curtis among others), before coming back to music in the late 1990s. On moving to the Bath area she began writing and performing her own material again. Her unique style of playing combined with her thoughtful lyrics and mesmerizing voice has already attracted a keen following. This, along with her well-received live performances has ensured that Diana Johnstone is definitely one to watch among the new breed of innovative female singer/songwriters. Dianas debut CD, Learning to Walk is available now.
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