Black Diamond Heavies

Black Diamond Heavies: Two heads are better than three.
Black Diamond Heavies: Two heads are better than three.

This Nashville duo plays fuzzed-out garage blues that sounds like Tom Waits sitting in with the Black Keys. It's grimy, primal stuff led by frontman John Wesley Myers' growl. They formed as a trio in 2004, but when guitarist Mark Holder left in 2006 after their debut EP, You Damn Right, they didn't replace him, choosing to remain a pair. Myers plays Rhodes piano and organ, lending R&B soul to the raucous party vibe. Given the plenitude of guitar/drums duos, the change is refreshing, and Myers' gritty, irrepressible howl sounds like the lovechild of Waits and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The dirty grace and easy groove of last year's full-length debut, Every Damn Time, whets the palette for the May 27 release of their follow-up, A Touch of Someone Else's Class. The key is their ability to mix up a hard-charging garage paean to cocaine, "White Bitch," with moody, slow-burning blues vamps like "Poor Brown Sugar." Fittingly, the new album was produced by Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach.

 
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