I don't see how. Nor is the expertise of their producers: Add to that the difficulty of even being a "band" in southern soul. It could be a different band entirely. The masterpiece of the set is "They Want Me Too," a lavish composition in which all the group's finest qualities mesh: And if so, isn't that prejudice call it the prejudice of not wanting to be confused also reflected in southern soul radio? The Black Diamond "brand"--a tremendous accomplishment in itself--is Ricky Fuller's.
Not because she's female, you understand, but because she's a competing lead singer with a jarringly different sound. Scratching my head a few songs into this set, I had one dominant thought: Nor is the expertise of their producers: Whether you like them or not, the Karen Jackson vehicles distract and detract from the Ricky Fuller hits the songs the fans recognize as "Black Diamond" , diluting their impact, and this dichotomy in sound imperils the band's continuing viability. And if so, isn't that prejudice call it the prejudice of not wanting to be confused also reflected in southern soul radio? Black Diamond is a lot further from being a southern soul act than a couple of their singles had led me to believe. The only two examples of successful bands on the chitlin' circuit in recent years are the Klass Band Brotherhood whose fans also overlapped with beach music and The Revelations featuring Tre' Williams essentially white Northerners with a black front-man , and where are they today? Then there's "True Love," not quite as catchy melodically but still a solid piece of songwriting, and an obvious attempt to create a song immersed in southern soul convention. The fireworks generated by the mostly Ricky Fuller-based vocals on the album's choicest tracks! Which brings up the larger question. I can only think of one other instance in the 21st Century of a regionally successful contemporary southern soul "band". Add to that the difficulty of even being a "band" in southern soul. Can Black Diamond as currently assembled even survive? Barnes--is not in question. The Black Diamond "brand"--a tremendous accomplishment in itself--is Ricky Fuller's. And is it southern soul prejudice to suggest the use of Karen Jackson as a lead singer does not work in a southern soul context? There's too much talent tugging in opposing artistic directions. It could be a different band entirely. The regional base of Black Diamond overlaps with the beach music genre, "beach music" being a kind of Southern Soul Lite albeit better than most of the country in which boy-band melodies, flute-like keyboard lines and other "pop" mannerisms--not to mention interchangeable male and female lead singers--are more the norm. The masterpiece of the set is "They Want Me Too," a lavish composition in which all the group's finest qualities mesh: In-your-face, urban-smooth "Slippin" and "Real Love" in particular are far removed from the southern soul atmosphere set by the preceding Fuller Brothers songs. I haven't heard any of the Karen Jackson lead vocals on the usual outlets. I don't see how. Hard to believe it's been four years. Here's my initial write-up upon its first charting here in
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