SXSW: Black Diamond Heavies at Fado's Patio

Categories: SXSW

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Last night at Fado's Patio, I caught Louisville's Black Diamond Heavies. Saying "caught" sounds like I sat at an intimate show and quietly took notes. This wasn't one of the shows. This was a trip into the heart of the Dirty South. And not the South of the medicated syrup and extremely ostentatious jewelry variety. This was one of burned out cars driven by burned men, fueled by the treachery of sordid women.

The organ and drums duo sat in the backyard of the Irish pub and preceded to damn near Americanize the whole block. Port Arthur native John Wesley Myers, on keys and vocals, comes off as the bastard child of Iggy Pop and fittingly enough Janis Joplin, raised by Tom Waits, who then gargles with gravel each morning for breakfast.

On songs like "Leave It In" you get twinges of a guitarless ZZ Top, all scuzz with no fuzz. Hot off a UK tour and about to head into the studio with Austin's own Scott H. Biram (who sat in attendance, fist-shaking on the sidelines the entire set) for a collaboration, BDH bring to mind a more grizzled Black Keys. Not as polished, but all that more biting with an almost religious ferocity.

The highlight towards the end of the set was the cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" that rightfully swayed right into the Stooges "Search and Destroy." All was right with the world for those five minutes. -- Craig Hlavaty

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