Internationally acclaimed guitarist and singer-songwriter Erja Lyytinen will release Crosstown Traffic; the second single taken from her highly anticipated fourth live album Diamonds On The Road – Live 2023.
The new single, accompanied with a live music video, will be released on Tuesday 15 August. The single is available on all streaming platforms HERE. The music video is available to watch on YouTube HERE.
Released worldwide by Tuohi Records on Friday 6th October 2023, the new live album is available to pre-order on double CD, vinyl, and digital from the official Erja Lyytinen shop HERE.
Crosstown Traffic was originally recorded by Jimi Hendrix for his 1968 album Electric Ladyland.
“There is only one Hendrix, there´s no way you can replicate Jimi, and that’s why I wanted to perform my own take on this classic song,” says Erja. “We brought the song to the 21st century by adding some new elements. Our version is slightly faster than Jimi´s and I´m also playing the song in open C tuning with a slide and that gives the song a whole new approach.”
Continues Erja, “The song is a lot of fun to play live, it´s energetic and I just love the lyrics! There are plenty of metaphors and sexual references, all cleverly delivered by describing a traffic jam, which alludes to how a relationship has come to its end. I´m using a kazoo in the ending riff of the song, as Hendrix did use a comb and cellophane to create the sound of traffic. The result is a fun and cool live track with some interesting turnouts in the arrangement!”
Some may argue that music is born in the studio, but it comes to life and evolves when performed live on stage. With a live album, there is no safety net. You get one shot at capturing those perfect moments and preserving them forever.
With the pandemic now firmly in our rear-view mirror Erja Lyytinen and her band have been touring relentlessly. With the high-flying Finn in top form, the artist decided to capture the magic of their live performances on their new concert album, Diamonds on the Road – Live 2023.
Speaking about the new live album, Lyytinen said: “When playing live, you’ve got one moment to get it right, and then the moment is gone. There is no correcting stuff later. It is very raw and exciting to play and sing at the same time. The adrenaline runs through your body, and everything around you affects your performance.”
The release marks Erja Lyytinen’s fourth live album, and follows on from Songs from the Road, Live in London, and Lockdown Live. The new album is the first concert release from the gifted guitarist to capture the post-Covid live experience.
“Diamonds on the Road was recorded towards the end of our Spring tour in March 2023,” says Erja. “We played ten shows in a row, of which eight were sold out. The band had a good flow going, and the songs were rolling nicely.”
CD Track Listing
1. Diamonds On The Road 4:48
2. Rocking Chair 4:00
3. Bad Seed 5:26
4. Black Ocean 7:13
5. Waiting For The Daylight 6:40
6. Väinämöinen Tuonelassa 5:42
7. Last Girl 5:42
8. Never Really Had You 6:32
1. You Talk Dirty 6:49
2. Lover´s Novels 5:13
3. Wedding Day 11:35
4. Crosstown Traffic 4:26
5. The End Of Music 10:54
Since pandemic restrictions were lifted, the artist has graced the stages of venues and festivals across Europe and beyond. Unlike Lockdown Live, which captured a key moment in time during the pandemic, the artist’s new double live album highlights the joys of once again being able to perform in front of a sold-out crowd.
“Compared to our previous live recording Lockdown Live, which was filmed and recorded as a streaming gig without an actual audience during the first two months of the pandemic in 2020, this was quite different with an interactive crowd,” reflects Erja. “The show took place at Rytmikorjaamo, Seinäjoki, in the Western part of Finland. On the night of the recording, people were enjoying the live performance, cheering to the solos, dancing, and having a good time together next to each other.”
Over the years, Erja Lyytinen’s sound has evolved dramatically. Beginning with her traditional blues roots, Lyytinen has been simultaneously pushing forward with a hard rock-orientated style of play whilst always keeping that blues sound at the core of everything she does. “My sound has changed since the last live recording. My playing has more of a hard-rock element and edge,” says Erja.
Erja attributes some of those changes to her equipment and repertoire of trusty axes. “Since my last live recording, my live guitar arsenal has grown quite a bit. I have five to six guitars, from Strats and Teles to custom-made guitars, on stage with me. It´s quite cool to dig out the different characteristics of each guitar. I´m using my road-worn Fender Custom Shop guitar on the songs Black Ocean and Never Really Had You. I had the guitar fine-tuned right before the tour and added it to my live arsenal. I feel as though it has been a sin to keep this Strat as my sofa guitar for years!”
The songs featured on Diamonds On The Road showcase the old, the new, the borrowed and the blues. “For the set list of the live album, we had a mixture of my favourite old songs and then a selection of the songs from my latest studio album, Waiting for The Daylight,” explains Erja. “We also recorded a Jimi Hendrix classic, Crosstown Traffic. I made my own version of it by playing the song using slide! It is so cool to play the song, and, on the recording, it is our first encore.”
Diamonds on the Road – Live 2023 includes an exclusive feature not found in the artist’s previous concert albums. “I wrote a song based on artwork by famous Finnish artist Pekka Halonen´s painting ‘Väinämöinen Tuonelassa’. The piece tells the story of the Finnish epic saga, Kalevala, where a shaman called Väinämöinen goes to the Underworld. The song is slightly folk metal and sung in Finnish. It is a cool addition to the set list, making this live recording my first to have a song sung in Finnish,” explains Lyytinen.
The new live album showcases Erja and the band doing what they do best, playing concerts for their fans. “I have always loved performing live, but now, I enjoy playing even more and saying this on behalf of my band; I think they do, too. Performing live is stronger, more relaxed, and empowering. I´m grateful to be a guitarist and singer who is giving her best for the audience each night. It’s the best thing you can do with your pants on,” concludes Erja.
For further information and an up-to-date touring schedule, please visit erjalyytinen.com/tour.
DIAMONDS ON THE ROAD – NOVEMBER 2023 UK TOUR
TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM ERJALYYTINEN.COM/TOUR
Wednesday 8 November 2023
Thursday 9 November 2023
Sedgefield, Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club
Saturday 11 November 2023
Newcastle, Prohibition Cabaret Bar
Sunday 12 November 2023
Sheffield, The Greystones
Tuesday 14 November 2023