Black Diamond Heavies – Every Damn Time

by Woody on January 23, 2007

BDH Cover Art

Imagine you’re driving down some backwoods road in the deep south and decide to pull off into some run-down honky-tonk. Upon entering you are greeted by a “punk-ass blues” combo and the whole place turns to stare out you as if to say, “What the hell are you doing in here?”

That is how I felt the first time I spun this disc. Black Diamond Heavies are a two-piece outfit with John Wesley Myers on bass keys, fender rhodes, organ and vocals and Van Campbell on drums and backing vocals. Myers voice is unique to say the least; almost as if he is possessed by a blues singer from yesteryear that’s still trying to get his message out. So unique, that I found myself fixating on his vocals and not truly enjoying the full experience.

Once you acclimate yourself to Myers’ vocal offerings, the rest falls into place. Essentially they are just a couple of dudes playing the blues with just enough crazy built in to make it different and a very enjoyable listen. You’ll also soon notice that Myers is a phenomenal musician.

The album has a nice mix of shake-your-hips blues boogie and the nice soulful blues ballads. Fever In My Blood, Leave It In The Road and Pour Brown Sugar are examples of the former. All feature tremendous intros by Campbell that show he’s not just along for the ride.

All to Hell and Stiched In Sin fall into the latter category as Myers shows his soulful, lovelorn self. His organ work shines on All To Hell and combined with the guest horns, it almost reminds me of an Otis Redding song (if Otis’ voice was put through a blender).

The debut from Alive Records comes out on the 23rd. If you are a fan of bands that put their own spin on traditional blues than I suggest you check them out.

Black Diamond Heavies – Fever in My Blood

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

oz January 23, 2007 at 11:32 am

It’s hard not to compare the vocals to Tom Waits.

Tacos January 23, 2007 at 5:48 pm

“Once you acclimate yourself to Myers’ vocal offerings” – And when exactly is this supposed to happen?

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