Black Diamond Heavies: One Night Only!


Aw, hell yeah, this is a cool event, kiddies. On December 7, 2011, at 9 PM EST, Saving Country Music will be streaming the Black Diamond Heavies’ set from the 2009 Deep Blues Festival. BDH performed at the very first DBF, and not only does the 2009 set feature core members John Wesley Myers (a.k.a. James Leg, who will be playing live in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 5 at Now That’s Class) and Van Campbell, but it also includes a reunion with original BDH member Mark “Porkchop” Holder and support from guru/roadie extraordinaire U.S. Justin and BDH buddy Andy Jody (whose long and illustrious resume includes Pearlene, James Leg’s solo album and Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, to barely scratch the surface).


Watch this video on YouTube


Be sure to trek on over to Saving Country Music ahead of time and download the live player plug-in beforehand so you’ll be ready when the fun gets going. And stock up on whiskey. It will be fucking awesome, I assure you.

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James Leg is Coming to Cleveland (and Other Cities, Too)


Solitary Pleasure is ingrained with James Leg’s extensive knowledge of the rock and roll canon and the album displays his passion and originality to full effect. Granted, Leg’s gargled-with-goat vocal style could be an acquired taste, but it’s also a quality instrument that, like his keyboard work, will prove powerful, yet supple and dextrous over the course of the album. Imagine Tom Waits doing Bobby “Blue” Bland covers.

“Long live rock and soul and pianos and devil horns.”

If you’ve been reading NTSIB for a while, you know that I freaking love James Leg (a.k.a. John Wesley Myers of the Black Diamond Heavies) and that his album, Solitary Pleasure, is probably my favorite album of 2011. If not, here’s a little memory refresher.

I already have two James Leg shows under my belt this year, and I’m excited for a third. Sitting down at the keys, Leg generates more energy on stage than most of his more mobile counterparts, leg flailing to the beat and hair flying in his face as he pushes his foghorn howl through the microphone to blast you out … Continue reading

James Leg at the Northside Tavern, Cincinnati, OH, 4.23.11

Trucked on down to Cincinnati Saturday to see James Leg and drummer Andrew Jody put on a rattle-the-rafters show for the Solitary Pleasure record release show. After a European tour and a rough week of re-entry back to the States, Leg and Jody were ready to have a good time back at home with friends.


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The show served triple duty as a birthday party for a number of locals and a memorial show for local musician David “Bones” Hebert who was killed April 18 under questionable circumstances. Despite what could have been an angry or somber occasion, spirits were high, and the crowd was encouraged to shake their asses, which they did. And Leg did, too, at one point getting up to dance around his stool.

Leg is currently shoring up some U.S. tour dates, and, if you hadn’t guessed, I highly recommend you catch him if you can.

4/30: Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s w/ Bohannons (record release)
5/20: Rock Island, IL @ RIBCO
5/21: Dubuque, IA (
5/22 and 23: Bayport, WI @Bayport BBQ
5/24: St. … Continue reading

Cut in the Hill Gang: Livin’ in a Town That Ain’t Even on the Map


Here’s how I want to write this post about the Cut in the Hill Gang’s Mean Black Cat: Holy shit, buy this album! Go! Do it now! It is flat-out, fist-pumping, sternum-thumping rock-and-goddamn-roll from top to bottom, and you need it. Then I would throw out a couple of songs, and you would listen and say, “Damn, the effusive writer is correct! Where’s my credit card?”

But some people are going to want more than my exuberant flailing to go on (if you weren’t already enticed by the description of the album in our James Leg interview).

In this most recent incarnation, the Cut in the Hill Gang is comprised of four frontmen: Johnny Walker (Soledad Brothers), Lance Kaufman (StarDevils), Reuben Glaser (Pearlene) and James Leg (Black Diamond Heavies). And on Mean Black Cat, the four put their dirty fingerprints all over other people’s songs. CitHG dip into a number of genres and eras, covering the likes of Lula Collins, the Gun Club, Gary U.S. Bonds, the Kills, Hound Dog Taylor, the MC5, Bill Allen… If you’re familiar with the other works of the CitHG members, the artists covered aren’t a huge … Continue reading

A Conversation with James Leg


John Wesley Myers, a.k.a. James Leg, gives off a vibe that reaches across a crowded bar. Stepping into the Happy Dog, a popular neighborhood bar on Cleveland’s west side, packed wall-to-wall with the usual cast of St. Patrick’s Day goofy, green-clad revellers, it took less than a second to spot Myers at the bar. It wasn’t that he was better-looking or more nicely dressed than most anyone else in the place – though there might have been that, too – it is more a natural air that says, “You should pay attention to this guy.”

And you should. From his band the Black Diamond Heavies to his work with the Immortal Lee County Killers and contributions to albums by Scott H. Biram and Left Lane Cruiser on up to his new solo album, Solitary Pleasure, Myers is partially responsible for doling out some of the dirtiest, howlingest, most searing punk-ass blues ever produced. And he’s got more just waiting to pour out.

After a full-on drunk young man screeched excitedly in Myers face (to which Myers, never less than cool, turned to me and simply said, “St. Patrick’s Day”), we made ourselves comfortable on … Continue reading

James Leg at the Happy Dog, Cleveland, OH, 3.17.11

James Leg and Andrew Jody look like they belong in two different bands. Leg, long and lean with big boots, big rings and wallet chain, is the very picture of a Southern blues rocker while Jody, skinny in a striped shirt, sporting a mod haircut, looks like he would have fit comfortably in any number of ’70s garage bands. And, technically, they belong to a number of different bands, with Leg being one half of the Black Diamond Heavies as well as having been/being a member of the Immortal Lee County Killers and the Cut in the Hill Gang and Jody’s list of credits including The Long Gones, Oxford Cotton, Pearlene, Barrence Whitfield and The Savages and more. But when they come together, they form a synergistic unit, their energies equally matched.

Kicking off with an amped up cover of Junior Kimbrough’s “Sad Days and Lonely Nights”, Leg hit the keys and growled lustily into his mic while Jody’s attack on the drums was solidly timed as well as impressively creative. In an interview, Leg’s Black Diamond Heavies partner Van Campbell said he believed one could see the effects of the spiritual warfare Leg … Continue reading

James Leg: Big Hearts and Bad Attitudes

While some hetero ladies like to pretend they only want an upright, decent, clean-living man who is home every night by dinner time, I tell you what, it’s hard to pass up a long, tall Texan with Waitsian vocal cords and key-pounding fingers… especially when he serves up some of the filthiest, most driving soul/jazz/blues-powered rock ‘n’ roll since T-Model Ford’s debut.

James Leg, a.k.a. John Wesley Myers – who was a part of the last line-up of the Immortal Lee County Killers and comprises one half of the Black Diamond Heavies – is releasing his solo debut, Solitary Pleasure, on April 5th, and it is a delight. Leg expands his usual repertoire into piano bar ditties and gospel while still serving up slipping, sliding, sweaty blues-tinged rock and heavy soul with take-me-as-you-find-me lyrics. He even dips into comedy with “No License (Song for the Caged Bird)”, a song that begins with a sad trombone, ends with a Three Stooges motif, and plays like Fats Waller at the end of a week-long bender in between, in an ode to one hell of a dame.

Among … Continue reading