James Leg hits ‘Below the Belt’ on his latest solo release

James Leg‘Below the Belt’
James Leg (Alive Naturalsounds)
3.5 stars out of 5

With a voice that sounds as though he gargles with broken glass, James Leg has carved out a nice career over the past decade — first as John Wesley Myers in punk/blues outfit Black Diamond Heavies and now as a solo performer.

James Leg CDLatest project “Below the Belt” builds on the strengths of 2011 solo debut “Solitary Pleasure” and 2012’s “Painkillers” joint venture with Left Lane Cruiser. Leg shows off his formidable blues-rock piano skills on a 10-track, 37-minute release that I find myself enjoying a little more with every spin. It’s not an easily accessible record, but I think patient listeners will be rewarded.

Abrasive opener “Dirty South” sets the tone and Leg finds his groove on standout cuts “Up Above My Head,” “Drink It Away,” the sizzling Dirtbombs cover “Can’t Stop Thinkin’ About It” and “What More.” Leg and “Below the Belt” definitely merit some attention. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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