Monday, August 17, 2015

Album Review: "Below The Belt" by James Leg

Below The Belt
I'm not sure how honest I should be here, but oh, well you know I stand by my words.

This is a very hard review for me. It's hard because I want to be objective, but when you're reviewing someone whose work you just really love...

I mean I don't want to hit Joe Buck territory here! My St. Louis people know what that's all about right. Joe Buck on a national broadcast when the Cards are playing....

You know.

James Leg AKA The Reverend AKA John Wesley Myers of The Black Diamond Heavies, and he's probably got another four or five more aliases...Well we all know what his deal is. If you don't...

Keep reading.

The Classy Reverend James Leg
Leg is a very interesting character to me.

I still recall the day I discovered, and was very confused by, the Black Diamond Heavies. Well, these days it's just Leg by himself with whatever drummers he can find, presumably under bridges.

What gets me with the man is how he has been able to continue evolving with music.

Yes, he's still rocking the jowl growls that made him an Alive-Natural Sound recording artist.

He's certainly still playing that Rhodes Electric Piano "guitarified."

But this album, like all others that preceded it does not sound like anything else he's done aside from the two main points.

This album is upbeat and straight forward. The piano sounds as lively as it ever did. It's boisterous, melodic, overdriven, and all classic James Leg. The cadre of backing vocalists add a bigness to the songs that's never been a part of his sound. His inclusion of Up Above My Head is a great testament to his continuing to grow.

In case you're wondering, the requisite odes to drinking in the South do appear. On his second full length debut, James Leg continues where he left off and continues to grow as an artist.

It's been over three years since Painkillers (with Left Lane Cruiser), four years since Solitary Pleasure, and seven years since A Touch of Someone Else's Class, but the fact that each of those albums was the best one he'd done till his next release speaks volumes and again he's topped his previous work.

Below The Belt is the best album he's done yet.

Release: 9/4/15
Genre: Blues
Label: Alive-Natural Sound
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