Some New Orleans Bound reviews from Indie Mindy Music, Vents Magazine, No More Division, and Skope Mag, among others!
Little Diamonds was featured in the Minneapolis, MN Star Tribune on 9/14/13. Music critic Jon Bream featured Little Diamonds and his new album “New Orleans Bound” in his “Pick Six” article. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out. The article is pasted below as well. http://www.startribune.com/
entertainment/music/ 223540991.html Like Little Diamonds on Facebook at www.facebook.com/littlediamondsmusic!
“A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Nancy Harms, the Dakota. Back in Minneapolis from New York to promote her new CD, “Dreams in Apartments,” she was in great form, with unusual arrangements and phrasing that showcased her unique style.
Internet radio. I recently got a tabletop Internet radio (a CCWiFi) I can hook up to my stereo or listen to through a built-in speaker. It’s such an adventure to be able to listen to thousands of stations around the world.
KDKK-FM, Park Rapids. We always listen to this station when vacationing in northern Minnesota. It plays a quirky blend of ’40s and ’50s music mixed with local announcements of lost dogs, chicken dinners and obituaries.
Steve Adams, Minnetonka
Janelle Monáe, “Late Show With David Letterman.” What an exciting entertainer! Her James Brown-inspired performance, including dancing on Dave’s desk, was more convincing than her song, “Dance Apocalyptic.”
Trampled by Turtles, State Fair. The Duluth bluegrass-folk ensemble is the first local act to truly make it work on the mammoth grandstand stage. They smartly framed the stage with artful lighting and adjusted the sound to the right volume.
Little Diamonds, “New Orleans Bound.” Minneapolis high school senior Luke LeBlanc may have chosen an unnecessary moniker and inappropriate photos for his CD package, but he sure has gone to school on Dylanesque folk music. With a voice evoking early John Prine, he has crafted some commendable if derivative tunes, most notably “Too Early Gone.”
Jon Bream, Star Tribune“
TC Daily Planet 2013 Year in Review, Sounding off on Sounds, Dwight Hobbes – “You don’t often come across an artist richly gifted as singer-songwriter Little Diamonds. His album New Orleans Bound is an amazingly rich offering that nestles next to your heart with acoustic warmth. Abundant as the Twin Cities music scene is in eyebrow-raising talent, Little Diamonds’ ear-friendly, indeed entrancing music marks him as a stand-out talent.” (full article can be found at http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/01/15/sounding-sound-year-2013-review )
Twin Cities Daily Planet, music critic Dwight Hobbes – “Beautifully gifted singer-songwriter Little Diamonds (nee Luke LeBlanc) has a warm, companionable acoustic sound that immediately endears his music to you. The word for his artistry would be heartfelt, with a healthy hint of bluegrass style. New Orleans Bound, an even dozen offerings of sterling craftsmanship, confirms that, hands down.
Listening to him sing and strum guitar, delivering refreshingly simple lyrics, you’d swear the guy hasn’t got a pretentious bone in his body. Especially when he draws from the same sweetwater well as Jim Croce (think Croce’s touch with “Photographs And Memories” or “New York’s Not My Home”). In fact, he executes rich, low-keyed vocals that always hit a note dead-on and manage to convey a world of emotion with a mere inflection. You don’t come by this caliber of singer-songwriter all the time.
The melodies on New Orleans Bound,throughout, are each so distinctly rich, that though the music is mostly LeBlanc on guitar-harmonica without a band and clever arrangements to mix things up and keep your ear interested, he never loses you for a moment. Though when he does enlist assistance, for instance, on “12-12-12” with Jeremy Krueth (drums), Laurie Melting (fiddle), Blake Bunde (drums), and Johnnie Wall (pedal steel guitar), it works like a charm. It’s a buoyant little wryly tongue-in-cheek ditty, that’ll have you absent-mindedly nodding your head and tapping your feet, listening with a smile, especially to the lines,
Well, the river’s froze over
But, the ice is pretty thin
Underneath that water’s flowin’
I don’t know where it ends
They say Jesus walked on water
I suppose I’ll try it, too.
The world’s gonna end
So, I ain’t got much to lose.”
LINK TO ARTICLE http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/
news/2013/10/11/ little-diamonds-shine-new-orlea ns-bound-release
“Dwight Hobbes has written for ESSENCE, Reader’s Digest, the Washington Post, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, City Pages, Mpls/St. Paul, MN Law & Politics, Pulse of the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis Observer, the Twin Cities Daily Planet, Saint Paul Almanac 2009, Women & Word, the San Diego Union-Tribune, The Circle and Insight News”
Little Diamonds was featured in the September issue of the Bugle. The article is pasted below.
“The modern year is two-thousand and thirteen, Luke Leblanc (or “Little Diamonds” as he is commonly known on the stage) has just released his second studio album “New Orleans Bound” to the public. Previously Leblanc has released “1st Rail” (2010). He’s also played numerous events around the area, including “Dylan Days” and the “North Minneapolis Tornado Relief Concert”. He can also be found playing gigs at numerous different taverns, pubs and venues across the twin cities and can sometimes be heard rocking out on 89.3’s “The Current”. Luke has been playing and writing music since before I met him in sixth grade. I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform countless times over the last six years and most importantly, perhaps, I’ve been able to see him progress as a musician and an artist. This is my review of “New Orleans Bound”:
It seems that in the modern era of music, all you hear on the radio is overly produced, corporate written noise. I’m not going to lie to you, I can find some of that stuff catchy. I can tap my foot to it, and that’s about it. There really is, no meaning behind any of it. The multiple writers the record companies hire for the mainstream artists sit down in a room and think “Alright, what do kids like? Hmm, Iphones, partying, texting, strobe lights, bass, drama, autotune, bass, money and bass. Yeah! Let’s write about that, it’ll sell.” At least that’s how I picture a lot of it taking place. Perhaps I’m generalizing. In any case I feel like many of the massively marketed musicians out there are more celebrity than they are artist. There really isn’t much substance anymore. However, there are still great musicians out there, those who truly have a passion for music, not necessarily fame, they still exist. Luke “Little Diamonds” Leblanc is one of them. He writes from the soul, and it comes across in this album.
The reason this album is so well done and easy to listen to is because of how solidly it flows. Each track seems to be placed in just about the right position. The album starts off with “I don’t know about you” and “Never Met You At All”, which are two mellower tracks featuring mostly guitar and a bit of banjo and violin. “12-12-12” follows directly and is one of the funnest songs on the album, to be honest. The track’s got a bit of country-anthem feel to it and features a lap steel, which just sounds awesome!
The next few songs “Too Early Gone”, “Lord, Come Down”, “Duluth Grandma” and “Old Man Al” are some of my favorite tracks on the entire album. All are extraordinarily catchy and give me some sort of wonderful nostalgic, Déjà vu feeling. It’s difficult to pick out specific songs and label them as “the best” or “the worst” on the album, because, really, they are all equally good. Each track is written and performed in a slightly similar yet different fashion, and it works well for all of them. However, the final tracks I would like to point out are number 11 and 12: “I Go Walking” and “New Orleans Bound”. At this point, we’ve just about reached the end of the album. We’ve listened to serious songs, dark songs and songs that tell stories. These final two tracks end the album perfectly, they both feature a variety of musical instruments.
I highly recommend this album to just about anyone. Even if folk, country, blues or Americana aren’t really what you’re generally into, even if you’re into those mainstream radio pop hits, I ask you to at least listen to it once. Listen to something independently produced. Listen to something with some meaning. You’ll be hooked.” – Jackson Bigley