In a perfect world, with the album having been out for more than a week now, I’d be typing something like, “What can I say about the new James Leg album that hasn’t already been said?” However, taking a quick glimpse at the current Billboard and iTunes charts points out the imperfection of the world we currently live in, and if that doesn’t do it, just watch the 24 hour cable news networks and you’ll soon learn that, not only do we not live in a perfect world, we live in a world (coughcoughcountrycoughcough) that celebrates the absurd. Luckily, John Wesley Myers is an imperfect man with an absurd penchant for making a godzilla-sized sound with nothing but an organ and a drummer as accompaniment.
John Wesley Myers, if you’re feeling the itch of recognition and can’t quite place why, is also the singer/organ player for the Black Diamond Heavies. James Leg is his BDH side project/alter ego and, before anyone gets too worried that this is a sign BDH is done/on hiatus, worry not, there is already a new BDH album is the works. But with Van Campbell (BDH drummer) having just taken a wife and adjusting to that, John decided to use the downtime to record some songs he had floating around that just, for various reasons, weren’t gelling as Black Diamond Heavies songs. So, in the midst of an exceptionally cold cold snap, in a town that’s getting oh so familiar here on 9B, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, John hooked up with drummer Andy Jody and they entered Grand Palace Studios and recorded what would become, Solitary Pleasures.
While Solitary Pleasures might be a “collection of songs that weren’t gelling as BDH tracks”, it’s not simply a BDH b-sides album. It does have the familiarity you’d imagine when 1/2 the band is present but Solitary Pleasures, as the title could suggest, has a more reserved and personal feel to it. For any fan of The Black Diamond Heavies there is no need to “try before you buy”. You’re gonna love the album. For anyone who’s ever felt BDH was a tad too lo-fi/in your face for your musical tastes it’s time to give James Leg a chance cause, for ninebullets, it’s Essential Listening.