Ever since The White Stripes hit the scene, there has been no shortage of two man (or woman) bands out there releasing cds. Hell, there’s been no shortage of coverage for them on this here web site, either. And while there are more two man bands out there than you can shake a stick at, I promise you there are none, and by none I mean ZERO, that are quite like the Black Diamond Heavies. The Black Diamond Heavies are not for the uninitiated…Nay, the Black Diamond Heavies are for people who are ready to feel sin and salvation through the low end of a B3, with a tumbler full of whiskey and Van Cambell’s growl as a drinking partner. I’d been kicking around various ways to describe BDH’s sound and then I saw it spelled out perfectly on a CMJ review of Someone Else’s Class as such, “humid tone over heated tunes.” A perfect description for a gutturally raw and fantastic band.
A Touch of Someone Else’s Class is the follow up to last year’s fantastic Every Damn Time. It features production work by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and a guest horn appearance by Ralph Carney. As with any proper blues album, punk-ass or not, it features several covers, including a version of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limit” that may be the best version of the song I’ve ever heard. The disc even offers a surprising change up for the band in “Bidin’ My Time”, a somber ballad that seems as if it was written by Campbell near last call in a smoky piano bar five states away from his girl. While I wouldn’t want an album full of songs like “Bidin’ My Time”, this particular track has become one of my favorite songs on the album.
A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class isn’t only Essential Listening, it’s another slam dunk for both the band and Alive Records…a label that just continues to drop monster album after monster album out of their catalog. If you haven’t already, check them out. And speaking of checking them out, The Black Diamond Heavies are another band that will be playing the Deep Blues Festival next month. They are one of the bands I am most looking forward to getting to check out. I’m telling you, if you are anywhere near Minnesota or in a position to get on a plane and be near it, you need to get to Lake Elmo July 18 thru 20. It’s gonna be an event fans of this sound will be talking about for years to come.
Black Diamond Heavies – Bidin’ My Time
Black Diamond Heavies – Everything Is Everything
Black Diamond Heavies – Smoothe It Out
Black Diamond Heavies’ Official Site, Black Diamond Heavies’ myspace profile, Buy A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class