Chris Warner and Tom Adams in Diamond Joe

Chris Warner and Tom AdamsWhen we posted last week about Chris Warner’s CD reissue of two previous LP releases, we included a passing reference to Tom Adams’ non-denial of the rumor that he and Chris were starting a band.

Tom’s coyness aside, Chris has verified that they have indeed begun rehearsals and expect to launch Diamond Joe in the very near future. He tells us that they will be recording later this month and plan to send out a two-song promo CD to festival and event producers soon. A full-length CD release is anticipated for 2009.

Banjo players may quickly notice that Chris and Tom in the same band suggests something of a bonus in the banjo department, but no…. this will not be a double banjo act.

As we noted last summer, Tom Adams has decided to give up on the banjo as a result of his battle with focal dystonia, a nervous system disorder that has troubled him this past six years. He had initially attempted to continue performing on banjo in a modified two finger style, but was not able to play up to his own standards, and made the difficult decision to lay the banjo down.

But he didn’t give up on bluegrass music, and has since been working seriously on the guitar. The disease had affected his right hand, making for unpredictable results when playing banjo in a roll style, but Chris says that Tom has no trouble using a flatpick in a closed hand.

“Tom has been working hard on guitar, and has become a fine player. He and I actually played in a band together many years ago, with me on banjo and him on guitar, so this isn’t really a first.”

Rounding out the band are fellow Pennsylvanians Mark Seitz on mandolin and Steve Streett on bass.

Diamond Joe is booking now, and can be reached through Tom Adams’ web site until the band’s new site is complete.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.