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James Leg|Blood On The Keys

Blood On The Keys

James Leg

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Punk blues eccentric James Leg returns with the aptly titled Blood on the Keys, his third solo effort since shelving his flagship project the Black Diamond Heavies. Fans of the gutter-voiced keyboardist's signature sound will no doubt find some of what initially put him on the map, but with Blood on the Keys, he continues the stylistic expansion he began a year earlier on 2015's Below the Belt. While it's comforting to know that Leg can shred through massive blown-out rockers like "Human Lawn Dart" and "Hugging the Line," he also gets slow and soulful on the warmly captured "I'll Take It" and the stadium ballad title track. Like his last album, this one was recorded in a converted Masonic Lodge in Dayton, Kentucky and mixed in L.A. by Jason Soda. The retro milieu in which Leg works is part of his swampy mystique, and it works to his advantage as his growling vocals and dazzling organ and electric piano work coalesce in thick slabs of analog glory. Again, this is part of what drew fans to him in the first place, but the new tones he introduces here also provide the two biggest album highlights. From the start, "St. Michel Shuffle" feels different, setting Leg's fierce growls against an odd, throbbing organ backdrop, brightly tinkling piano, and a robust gypsy-classical string arrangement. It's dynamic, unique, and easily the most striking track on the album. Similarly, the closer "Should Have Been Home with You" reprises the shuffling gypsy-blues sound with some fiery interplay between the trilling fiddle and Leg's distorted Fender Rhodes, making for a different kind of barnburner than he's previously delivered. More exploratory than some of his previous work, Blood on the Keys is another quality outing from Leg.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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Blood On The Keys

James Leg

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1
Human Lawn Dart
00:03:09

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

2
Hugging The Line
00:03:07

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

3
Mighty Man
00:03:11

Raymond Edward Dorset, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - Lorimar Music, ASCAP, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 Lorimar Music, ASCAP

4
St Michel Shuffle
00:03:24

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

5
I'll Take It
00:04:14

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

6
Ain't You Hungry
00:03:52

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

7
Dogjaw (Do Some Things You Say)
00:03:39

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

8
Tao Te Leg
00:03:17

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

9
Blood On The Keys
00:04:13

John Wesley, Composer - James Leg, MainArtist - John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 John Wesley Myers (James Leg) BMI

10
Should've Been Home With You
00:03:11

James Leg, MainArtist - Blaze Foley, Composer - Texas Ghost Writers Music, BMI / BMG, MusicPublisher

2016 Alive Naturalsound 2016 Texas Ghost Writers Music, BMI / BMG

Album Description

Punk blues eccentric James Leg returns with the aptly titled Blood on the Keys, his third solo effort since shelving his flagship project the Black Diamond Heavies. Fans of the gutter-voiced keyboardist's signature sound will no doubt find some of what initially put him on the map, but with Blood on the Keys, he continues the stylistic expansion he began a year earlier on 2015's Below the Belt. While it's comforting to know that Leg can shred through massive blown-out rockers like "Human Lawn Dart" and "Hugging the Line," he also gets slow and soulful on the warmly captured "I'll Take It" and the stadium ballad title track. Like his last album, this one was recorded in a converted Masonic Lodge in Dayton, Kentucky and mixed in L.A. by Jason Soda. The retro milieu in which Leg works is part of his swampy mystique, and it works to his advantage as his growling vocals and dazzling organ and electric piano work coalesce in thick slabs of analog glory. Again, this is part of what drew fans to him in the first place, but the new tones he introduces here also provide the two biggest album highlights. From the start, "St. Michel Shuffle" feels different, setting Leg's fierce growls against an odd, throbbing organ backdrop, brightly tinkling piano, and a robust gypsy-classical string arrangement. It's dynamic, unique, and easily the most striking track on the album. Similarly, the closer "Should Have Been Home with You" reprises the shuffling gypsy-blues sound with some fiery interplay between the trilling fiddle and Leg's distorted Fender Rhodes, making for a different kind of barnburner than he's previously delivered. More exploratory than some of his previous work, Blood on the Keys is another quality outing from Leg.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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