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

Friday, November 14, 2008


Black Diamond Heavies, though generally pictured as just two guys, seem to be a trio on their new album as well - in this case, supposedly from "the Southern States of America," though they sure do play live in Ohio a lot. James Leg is credited with "vocals, bass keys, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, tack piano, knife"; Van Campbell with "drum, vocal, do things"; U.S. Justice with "background mouth, maracas, life." Helper-outers include Dan Auerbach from Black Keys (lending production assistance) and Ralph Carney from Tin Huey; cover versions include Nina Simone's "Oh Sinnerman" (cabaret hell-blues salvaging its ludicrous Waits/Cave schtick with gothic proto-psych swirl à la the Doors or Animals), T-Model Ford's "Take a Ride" (likewise kinda Doorsy due to trashy organ); and some pachyderm plotz all over Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits" (which Bob Seger did funkier).

Notable originals are plentiful: (1) "Everything Is Everything," a big stomp from the swamp, grumbled in the manner of Jim Dandy or Dr. John or Dan McCafferty from Nazareth atop huge drums hip-hopping in the manner of Run-D.M.C.'s version of "Walk This Way"; (2) "Bidin' My Time," a jazz-leaning apparent chitlin' circuit ballad tribute to our new Vice President-Elect, moaned slow and low a la Satchmo via Waits again; (3) speed-swinging Australian-style bogan-rock gutpunch "Make Some Time"; (4) lo-fidelity Count Bishops/Dr. Feelgood pub-punk murderer "Numbers 22 (Balaam's Wild Ass)"; (5) likewise pub-homicidal closing boogie "Happy Hour," which concerns visiting either the "pawn shop" or "porn shop"; (6) "Loose Yourself," one of the hardest-rocking songs I heard in all 2008; (7) and "Solid Gold," which comes closer to "Train Kept a Rollin'" than anything on the (nonetheless quite good) Mudsharks' album. Not necessarily in that order. - Chuck Eddy / Rhapsody

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