Diamond Rio include Marty Roe (vocals; born Dec. 28, 1960), Jimmy Olander (guitar; born Aug. 26, 1961), Gene Johnson (mandolin; born Aug. 10, 1949), Dan Truman (piano; born Aug. 29, 1956); Dana Williams (bass; born May 22, 1961) and Brian Prout (drums; born Dec. 4, 1955).
The group’s rich vocal harmonies and glossy picking helped define the “young country” movement of the early 1990s. Diamond Rio began its climb to stardom as the Tennessee River Boys, playing at the Opryland USA theme park in Nashville in the early 1980s. After numerous personnel changes, it solidified into its present membership in 1989 and took the name Diamond Rio.
The following year, the group signed with the newly-formed Arista Nashville label and reached No. 1 with its first single, “Meet in the Middle.” Throughout the decade, the hits continued: “Norma Jean Riley,” “In a Week or Two,” “Love a Little Stronger,” “Walkin’ Away” and “How Your Love Makes Me Feel.” Their chart successes earned four CMA awards for vocal group.
In 1998, Diamond Rio were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, the first band in 14 years to receive that honor. Their album from that same year emerged as a creative high, with the hits “You’re Gone” and “Unbelievable.” The 2001 hit ballad “One More Day” revitalized the group’s career, after becoming a song of healing after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
With their first seven albums certified gold or platinum, the band scored a No. 1 hit with “Beautiful Mess” in 2002, followed by the No. 1 hit “I Believe” in 2003. However they struggled with subsequent singles and parted ways with their longtime label in 2006 shortly after releasing Greatest Hits, Vol. 2.
“All that I am and all I’ll ever be/ is in your hands you’ve given every victory/ You are the reason I stand here today/ lifting my voice, raising you up ’cause I believe/ I believe/ I’m nothing/ I’m nothing without You…”
From “The Reason” (Joe Beck, Jimmy Olander, Marty Roe)
For longtime Diamond Rio fans wondering why their favorite country band decided to record a Christian record, the answer lies in the music. As the lyrics from “The Reason” illustrates, this was no casual decision, but a cherished opportunity by a group of believers looking to share their faith and celebrate God’s grace and mercy. “It was no mistake that we wrote a song called ‘The Reason’ and it exactly answers the question,” Jimmy Olander says. “It’s the reason why we’re here. It’s our story.”
Admission fee: $67.00 -$49.00 -$39.00 -$19.00
Blue Gate Theatre
105 E Middlebury St., Shipshewana