The Cornish Guardian

A female singer-song-writer who has her roots in the folk clubs of 1960s’ Cornwall launches her new CD at the Daphne du Maurier Festival on Saturday.

Diana Johnstone’s affecting album, THE TROUBLED HEART, features tracks recorded by Paul Reeve (Muse, Ruarri Joseph) at her brother Jo Partridge’s Airfield Studios in North Cornwall.

Among those playing on the album are her son Tam (Glass Shark, The General Store) and Cornwall-based singer-songwriter Mike Silver. The gig at 3pm on Saturday in the Town Hall, Fowey, will feature her brother on guitar. Jo has played for everyone from Joan Armatrading and Steve Harley to Peter Gabriel and played on Jef Wayne’s seminal ‘War of the Worlds’.

Diana has been writing and performing her own songs for the last eight years.

After a career in film and TV she found herself on the path of fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a singer. She started to write her own songs when she found it difficult to find someone to accompany her.

“I thought I’d be singing jazz standards in smokey bards starting in my 40s,” she said, “and had no idea I’d go full circle back to my folk roots.”

Those “folk roots” started in Corwnall in the late ’60s where as a teenage she played alongside the young Ralph McTell, The Incredible String Bands’ Clive Palmer and others including Mike Silver.

There Diana met and subsequently married ex-husband Davey Johnstone (Elton John’s guitarist) and wrote lyrics for Dave’s album ‘Smiling Face’ which was the first release on Elton’s Rocket Records label.

On her Myspace page – www.myspace.com/dianajohnstone1 – Diana says her influences range from Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell to off-the-wall female artists like Dori Previn, Yoko Ono and Laurie Anderson.

“I didn’t listen to music when I first started writing because I didn’t want any more influences. I felt I had enough. But lately I’ve discovered people like Devon Sproule and local band The Cedar.

“Also Roby Hitchcock made a bit impression when I heard him for the first time a while ago and recently someone introduced to The Penguin Café Orchestra which I loved.”