Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


For an immediate taste of Auerbach's production skills, pick up the new Black Diamond Heavies album, A Touch of Someone Else's Class, at the band's Saturday night performance at Musica. B.D.H. is a bluesy rock duo of organist/singer James Leg and drummer Van Campbell, and the album is a raw, distorted, quickly recorded live-in-the-studio document of its southern-fried ruckus.

The Nashville-based band hooked up with Auerbach through its record label, Alive, which released the Black Keys' debut. Auerbach said he'd never met the two until they showed up at his Akron Analog studio, but was familiar with the band's reputation for raucous live shows.

''They recorded in like two days; it was bang, bang, boom, done,'' Auerbach said.

The 11-track album, the band's second, features drunken blues-gospel inflected tunes with singer Leg's Tom Waits-ian growl, which on songs such as Numbers 22 (Balaam's Wild Ass) and the ballad Bidin' My Time sounds eerily like an impersonation of Waits' Small Change era.

''It's not a put-on. That's how that (guy) talks,'' Auerbach said, laughing. ''It's not some bull where he puts on the voice, and I've heard a lot of people do that. He actually talks like that and when he laughs like that, that's what it sounds like.''

Auerbach, who won't be in town for the show because the Black Keys will be on their way to Australia for another series of sold-out shows, said he's not particularly interested in becoming a hot hit-making producer.

''I just like to make records and work with bands, and that's why I just want do it as much as I can.''

Highlights of the album include midtempo stomper Loose Yourself; Solid Gold, an amped-up shuffle that could easily be a single; and an organ-only cover of Nina Simone's take on the old spiritual Oh, Sinnerman, which Auerbach said came from one of those spontaneous moments in the studio.

''They weren't even planning on recording that song. [Leg] just came in one morning, sat down and started playing it and singing, and I started recording. I'm really glad that it made it on the record.'' -

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