Guttural, juke-joint blues songs -- the kind that shake the moonshine from your ass pocket and transform your fists into the devil sign -- aren't immune to the trite sway of nostalgia and romanticism. We like our Southern blues-rockers bestial and destructive; if we can't have that, then mullets, bandanas, and a Skynyrd or Stevie Ray lick will do. Though they've shared the stage with quasi-hippie jammers like Gov't Mule and the North Mississippi Allstars, the Black Diamond Heavies pound harder and bathe less, slamming together piano, harp, slide guitar and drums, growling and spewing with as much poison as bourbon in their blood. Their sound is homicidally distorted, a junkyard-assembled Econoline stalking the back roads from Chattanooga (their native turf) to Abilene, swerving and jerking as the bandmates fight over which 8-track to play next: John Lee Hooker, Led Zeppelin or Black Flag. Those jonesing for no-bass electro-blues could do much worse than the Heavies, but consider yourself warned: By comparison, the White Stripes are a hipster minstrel show.
Porkchop lays down the blues with the Black Diamond Heavies.