James Leg’s latest solo effort “Blood on the Keys” is flat out amazing
By Marc Michael
I have written a lot of words about music in the last few years. Taken as a whole, I’ve done more writing about music than all the writing I did in high school and college combined, including the papers I wrote for other people (yes, I did that—it was college and I needed the money.)
In committing that much electronic ink to digital paper I have developed some recurring observations that, despite their repetition, are only used when absolutely appropriate. Often I admonish you, dear music lover, to see one band or another now, during their rise to the top, so that one day you can say, “I saw them when.”
This week’s feature is about a man named John Myers, known professionally as James Leg, and kids…I saw him when.
I saw him when he was with the Black Diamond Heavies. I saw him when he was one of the hottest keyboard players in the area. I saw him when he was in demand for damn near everyone’s project and when he threw in for a few gigs with Porkchop Holder and Dave Brown at the Lizard Lounge.
I can’t say precisely what sort of “hero’s journey” he embarked on since the last time I saw him, but I do know that he left as one of the best and is returning as something so far beyond that, I don’t know how to express it without being accused of hyperbole.
He’ll be headed home soon after an extensive six-month tour of Europe, just in time for the release of his newest solo album, “Blood on the Keys,” and this album is ten gallons of liquid fire in a five-gallon bucket. His vocal style is so much like a particular famous piano player/songwriter I mention too often, it’s uncanny, but it’s just as much Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Dr. John. Leg puts the guts in guttural and the gravel in your craw, but the vocals are barely even the surface of this amazing album. – READ THE FEATURE HERE
Rock n Roll fans – please welcome Hairy Mountain – the second album from West Australia’s Datura4. Building upon the “guitars-to -infinity” approach of Datura4’s acclaimed debut LP ‘Demon Blues’, ‘Hairy Mountain’ is ten solid tracks celebrating an unbridled joy for rock n’roll ,with a nod to the spiritual presence of their hairy Oz Rock forefathers.
Hairy Mountain is the culmination of a lifetime of musical archaeology and the ongoing search for the never ending riff.
It’s the brainchild of Dom Mariani (frontman of Australian garage rockers The Stems and Power Posters DM3) and Greg Hitchcock (former You Am I and one-time New Christs’ guitarist), and their new full-tilt boogie, psych and prog combo Datura4. – BLURT
Throwback in the best possible way, the way you can go to some underground club in your nearest big city and see kick-ass rockers throwing it down like it was 1972. But unlike those amateurs, Datura4 is the real deal. In Mariani and Hitchcock, it has the pedigree. – UNDER THE RADAR
Elements of hard-lined blues remain evident, but are primarily smoothed out by a dominant, free-formed ’70s psych sparsity. Those sprawling soundscapes themselves threaten explosive outbreaks yet are reigned in further with a defining boogie, a heavy footstomp of swagger that sets a more contemporary course. – Johnny Nail / ROLLING STONE AUSTRALIA
Sometimes less truly is more as the two-person band set-up of the Bonnevilles allows each musician to shine as well as showcase their prodigious musical talents. Meanwhile, the music rings raw and true and full of heart. You can witness this aestethic on the band’s new video, “No Law in Lurgan”, from their recent LP Arrow Pierce My Heart. – READ MORE ON THE POPMATTERS SITE
THE BONNEVILLES TOUR DATES
September 9 @ Social Sounds Festival — Belfast, UK
September 15 @ The Castle Hotel — Manchester, UK
September 16 @ Stow Fest — London, UK
September 17 @ Zephyr Lounge — Leamington Spa, UK
September 18 @ The Phoenix — Exeter, UK
September 19 @ The Duck and Drake – Leeds
September 20 @ Start The Bus — Bristol, UK
September 21 @ Broadcast — Glasgow, UK
September 22 @ The Cluny — Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
September 23 @ The Black Abbott — Montrose, UK
September 24 @ Franklin Rock n Roll Club – Edinburgh. UK
This is without doubt some of the rawest soul/blues/punk rock ‘n’ roll and coolest Fender Rhodes electric piano playing you’ll ever hear, along with the dirtiest Whiskey-smoked growl that has ever been put to tape. Yes, folks, this album is a winner. It’s dirtier and louder than most other things, and just fucking awesome. It’s the future, the past and present, all rolled up into a tight joint, ready to smoke, get high and just rock the fuck out. There are no disappointments here. – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE
In the Black Diamond Heavies, the Immortal Lee County Killers, the Cut In The Hill Gang, he was John Wesley Myers. Now, you can lose the formality and call him- simply- James Leg, a moniker for a sneering, whiskey fueled, son-of-a-preacher, punk rocker of a long gone order. Barely off the heels of his 2015 sophomore release, Below The Belt— for which Elmore dubbed Leg “Part Howlin’ Wolf, part Iggy Pop… the new standard-bearer for the rebels”—Leg is getting ready to release his third solo album, Blood On The Keys, September 30th via Alive Naturalsound Records. Like Below the Belt, he took to Masonic Sounds- located in a Masonic Lodge- in Dayton, KY, then sent the album to SodaCuts in East LA, where it was mixed by Jason Soda, who’s worked with GospelbeacH, Everest and Jakob Dylan. – READ THE FEATURE from ELMORE MAGAZINE