James Leg – Gravelly, Growly, Gritty Rock & Roll
If Lemmy from Motorhead and Lemmy from Motorhead had a lovechild, it would probably look something like James Leg. If that lovechild had then been sent to singing lessons with Louis Armstrong and piano lessons with Jerry Lee Lewis, it would probably sound something like James Leg. If that lovechild had then spent some quality time with uncle Ozzy or that weird cousin Keith Moon, the result might be a musical act not unlike James Leg.
Listening to James Leg for the first time, I must admit I thought it might be a parody. The musicianship is strong, the instruments sound clear and well produced – but when Leg’s voice enters the mix, the entire feel changes in an instant.
Words almost can’t describe just how gravelly, growly and gritty Leg’s voice is (a whole new type of 3G). It almost sounds like the cookie monster ripping into some deep blues cuts at first, but once you realize how well it fits, the music suddenly transforms into some of the rawest, stripped down bluesy rock & roll produced in recent years.
Leg started out with the Black Diamond Heavies, a duo that worked to re imagine roots blues as a two piece, just drums and keyboard (and vocals, if you count Leg’s voice as an instrument in its own right). The BDH produced 4 albums between 2007-2012 before Leg ventured out as a solo act, producing 3 albums as of 2016. As a result, there is plenty of Leg’s material to work through.
Stand out songs to look out for are ‘A Forest’, Legs take on 1980’s Cure track. It’s hard, its fast and its driving throughout. ‘Dirty South’ is as about as basic and in your face as 12 bar blues can get. ‘Human Lawn Dart’ starts with an almost funky opening, quickly hits a very satisfying rock vein and disintegrates into a frenzy of keyboard and drum soloing. By Leg’s standards, ‘October 3rd’ is almost a ballad, a little slower and more melodic, but still raw, rough and ready enough to remind you who is playing it.
Its difficult to picture a time an a place where this music would fit without question. This is drinking music, party music, it needs to be played loud and enjoyed with like minded blues and rock and roll fans. Put this on in the wrong setting and you will see some raised eyebrows. Put this on in the right setting and people might just think you have discovered rock and roll nirvana.
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