If you are a musician, dig playing blues and have the talent to record, then I suggest you look up Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and ask him nicely to produce your next album. Black Diamond Heavies’ first album Every Damn Time was an enjoyable listen, but A Touch of Someone Else’s Class is a giant step forward. While the recipe of John Wesley Myers and Van Campbell remains the same, Auerbach has introduced a few new elements to the mix that really take the Tennessee twosome forward.
The dynamic of the band is very similar to the Keys. Both Auerbach and Myers are wholly dependent on their respective drummers to do more than simply keep a beat. They are responsible for becoming the driving force of the band to allow their frontmen a tremendous amount of freedom. Patrick Carney is my favorite drummer around today, but Van Campbell is definitely in the same league. I have listened to this album countless times and am truly blown away by his playing.
As for Myers, he‚ still delivers his vocals ala Tom Waits. In fact Ralph Carney, a horn player for Waits and Patrick Carney’s uncle is introduced on one track, “Bidin’ My Time” that oozes soul. Much like “All To Hell” from the first album, it gives off an Otis Redding vibe that makes me want to slow dance with my lady.
Myers is equally adept when the boys turn it up a notch as well. “Nutbush City Limit,” “Make Some Time” and my favorite, “Smooth It Out” are all dirty, scuzzy blues rockers. Myers works the organ into a lather and delivers the vocals like he’s part demon.
Much like BBQ joints, there are some people that like their ribs in a quaint, well-lit atmosphere with shiny sliverware. And then there are those of us who like their ribs slapped on some white bread in a joint where you can barely see the silverware. Black Diamond Heavies are that hole-in-wall BBQ place.