At first glance, one of the things that sets Courageous Virtue apart from other local acts is that a woman fronts the band. For days after the interview, my ears must have been on high alert for chick-fronted bands, because I recently became a fan of Halestorm and Kittie (two national bands). Nothing like a good dose of estrogen that can rock.

Female singers aren’t overly common in original bands around Maine. While there are bands with women, the number is incredibly low in comparison to those that are all-male. That fact fuels Dyanna Diamond’s enthusiasm for music, she says.

“I love it. I’m up for the challenge,” said Diamond (Diane Beaulieu off stage).

A Lewiston-based band, Courageous Virtue has been together three years and working on an eight-song CD. Diamond, her husband Louis O’Neil (on guitar, who goes by Louis Beaulieu off stage), Kevin Roy (bass), and Mike Beauchesne (drums) are an all-original band, and have just over two hours of material in their repertoire.

Song writing is a true collaborative effort for these four musicians. No one person makes 100 percent of the decisions, and everyone’s voices are heard. O’Neil says that is a big part of what makes up their sound.

“I feel like we have a really good formula with this band,” said O’Neil. “Sometimes songs almost write themselves, and sometimes they take extended periods of time.”

“Without all of us contributing everything would sound the same,” said Diamond. “There are no dictators in this band.”

“(When you’re) creating a song and when you hear it, you get that instant gratification, because you made it,” said Roy.

“It’s straight from our heart,” said Beauchesne.

Diamond maintains, and the others agree, that they are more than a band, they are family. And like any family, they know how to keep the peace.

“We have our own lives,” said Beauchesne.

Like many musicians, the influence of other bands pushed each of them to pursue their own music. O’Neil says Kings X is by far his favorite band; guitarist Ty Tabor is one of the biggest influences for him. Roy claims Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, The Who’s John Entwistle and Metallica’s original bassist Cliff Burton made lasting impressions on him. Rush’s Neil Peart and the late John Bonham of Led Zepplin are Beauchesne’s idols, and Diamond, who is a fan of Janis Joplin, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, says that seeing Heart in concert years ago was an incredible experience.

“I was blown away. Stunned,” said Diamond.

Sacrifice is something they are all familiar with. Being in an original band, motivated to record and play out, O’Neil says it really tests their resolve. O’Neil says that they want to accomplish something they can be proud of before they find themselves running out of usefulness.

“Personally, I’d like to just be successful enough to play and make the money I would make at a job I hate, doing something I love,” he said.

“It’s a labor of love for me. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” said Diamond. “You’re tested constantly. You have to be patient, focused and determined; above all you have to love what you do.”


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