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Erja Lyttinen - 'Diamonds On The Road - Live 2023'

Erja Album

It’s always a pleasure to meet the exception-to-the-rule where live albums are concerned! Usually, I find these either devoid of atmosphere, or they start well, but by the end the audience sounds flat and unimpressed, which isn’t a great advert for the artist. However, giving credit to Lyytinen, this recording shows a genuine connection with the crowd that is heard right to the end, and, in all honesty, it’s a breath of fresh air!

The title track opens the show, and straight away you know this is Blues Rock done by someone who gets its very essence... and lives for it. The guitar sounds menacing, yet soulful, when needed, and the solo, as they are throughout the entire show, is nothing short of superb, which you would expect from a master guitarist like Lyytinen. ‘Rocking Chair’ ups the tempo and strays more into Rock territory, but is handled just as well by the Finn, whose enthusiasm is infectious.

‘Bad Seed’ and ‘Black Ocean’ follow, and credit to the band, they sound as good live as they do in the studio. In fact, you would be hard-pushed to tell the difference throughout, as the quality is that good, and proves that when Blues Rock is delivered to this high standard on the road, it sounds superb, and Lyytinen excels at this.

With this, her fourth live album (although the first post-pandemic), it’s clear to see that she mastered her craft in terms of delivering what the audience wants to hear, and they lap up what she offers; especially ‘Waiting For The Daylight’, ‘Väinämöinen Tuonelassa’ (which Lyytinen sings in her native tongue, and is based on a story in Finnish folk poetry), ‘Never Really Had You’ and ‘Wedding Day’. As with any gig, the atmosphere rises when certain songs are played. When ‘You Talk Dirty’ kicks in, the audience shows its appreciation, with Lyytinen responding in kind with a knockout performance and another killer solo.

There are thirteen tracks lasting eighty-five minutes, with two breaching the ten- minute barrier, including the closing song ‘The End Of Music’, which is beautifully delivered and brings the show to a natural climax. You don’t notice the length, as you are mesmerised by the performance, which is what you want with any live recording.

Be assured, this album shines as bright as the diamonds that Lyytinen is singing about!


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