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Black Diamond Heavies|A Touch of Some One Else's Class

A Touch of Some One Else's Class

Black Diamond Heavies

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Nashville's Black Diamond Heavies spent a lot of time on the road after the release of their first album, 2007's Every Damn Time, and you can hear the lessons of dozens of sweatbox gigs on their second full-length set, 2008's A Touch of Someone Else's Class. While James Leg (aka John Wesley Myers) on vocals and keys and Van Campbell on drums sounded tight and fiery the first time around, on their sophomore LP they sound tougher, harder, and practically incendiary; the duo's blues gestures are just as solid as before, but there's an emotional weight and an almost telepathic synergy between Leg and Campbell that makes their fine first record seem like a rough demo by comparison, and the songs rock harder and crazier than ever before. Leg often sounded like he was trying to channel Tom Waits on the BDH's debut, and not in a good way, but while the raspy growl of his voice still bears more than a passing resemblance to Waits, this time he sounds more like an inheritor of the great vocal tradition of Howlin' Wolf and Captain Beefheart, and it's a welcome improvement. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced and recorded these sessions, and while his approach feels pretty hands-off, the results suggest having a more sympathetic hand behind the board was a real help for the band. And when a band's originals sound as good as covers of stuff by Tina Turner, Nina Simone, and T-Model Ford, there's no question it must be doing something right. In short, if you want to hear some blues-shot rock that'll kick your butt and make you love it, A Touch of Someone Else's Class is one album you need to hear.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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A Touch of Some One Else's Class

Black Diamond Heavies

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1
Nutbush City Limits
00:03:01

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

2
Everything Is Everything
00:03:51

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

3
Numbers 22
00:02:54

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

4
Bidin' My Time
00:05:16

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

5
Take A Ride
00:04:40

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

6
Solid Gold
00:02:35

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

7
Smoothe It Out
00:02:58

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

8
Make Love Time
00:03:31

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

9
Oh, Sinnerman
00:04:25

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

10
Loose Yourself
00:03:42

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

11
Happy Hour
00:03:24

Alive Records, MusicPublisher - Black Diamond Heavies, Composer, MainArtist

2008 Alive Records 2008 Alive Records

Album Description

Nashville's Black Diamond Heavies spent a lot of time on the road after the release of their first album, 2007's Every Damn Time, and you can hear the lessons of dozens of sweatbox gigs on their second full-length set, 2008's A Touch of Someone Else's Class. While James Leg (aka John Wesley Myers) on vocals and keys and Van Campbell on drums sounded tight and fiery the first time around, on their sophomore LP they sound tougher, harder, and practically incendiary; the duo's blues gestures are just as solid as before, but there's an emotional weight and an almost telepathic synergy between Leg and Campbell that makes their fine first record seem like a rough demo by comparison, and the songs rock harder and crazier than ever before. Leg often sounded like he was trying to channel Tom Waits on the BDH's debut, and not in a good way, but while the raspy growl of his voice still bears more than a passing resemblance to Waits, this time he sounds more like an inheritor of the great vocal tradition of Howlin' Wolf and Captain Beefheart, and it's a welcome improvement. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced and recorded these sessions, and while his approach feels pretty hands-off, the results suggest having a more sympathetic hand behind the board was a real help for the band. And when a band's originals sound as good as covers of stuff by Tina Turner, Nina Simone, and T-Model Ford, there's no question it must be doing something right. In short, if you want to hear some blues-shot rock that'll kick your butt and make you love it, A Touch of Someone Else's Class is one album you need to hear.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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