• Release
      September 4, 2015
  • Tour Dates

    • 12/04/23 GA-20 in Brooklyn, NY at Baby’s All Right
    • 12/04/23 SAY SHE SHE in Austin, TX at ACL Live at The Moody Theater
    • 12/05/23 GA-20 in Hamden, CT at Space Ballroom
    • 12/06/23 GA-20 in Ardmore, PA at Ardmore Music Hall
    • 12/07/23 GA-20 in Washington, DC at Union Stage

    View All


    James Leg (aka John Wesley Myers of the Black Diamond Heavies) is set to release his second proper solo album, Below The Belt, later this summer. Back in his days with the Heavies, Leg laid the foundation for his solo work with his down-n-dirty keys, fervent live performances and trademark gruff howl mixed with equal measures of bourbon, butane & nicotine.

    Following the success of both his acclaimed 2011 solo debut, Solitary Pleasure, and his 2012 joint venture with label-mates Left Lane Cruiser for the equally white-hot studio album, Painkillers, Leg recorded the tracks for Below The Belt earlier this year in the dead of winter with several guest musicians at Johnny Walker’s (Soledad Brothers, Cut In The Hill Gang) studio: Masonic Sounds located in a Masonic Lodge in Dayton, KY. The album was mixed by renowned producer/engineer Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit.

    Leg, the son of a Texas preacher, started playing piano when he was just six. Raised on southern gospel music, he began preaching at the church his father pastored at the age of 14. Two years later he became infected with the lure of rock-n-roll and eventually alcohol and drugs. It was this contrast of good & evil, heaven & hell that would affect not only his music – solo and otherwise – but also his impassioned live performances evoking some sort of fervid snake-handling Pentecostal preacher in the middle of a lung-busting, jugular-popping sermon (just replace the slippery vermin with a fifth of whiskey and Leg pounding on his signature Fender Rhodes and you get the picture).

    On Below The Belt, the ghosts of Leg’s past haunt these 10 tracks. From the rafter-raising gospel cover of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head,” to the menacing rocker of opening track “Dirty South,” the bluesy swagger of “Drink It Away” and an in-the-red cover of The Dirtbombs’ burning garage-rock stomper “Can’t Stop Thinking About It,” these numbers are guaranteed to loosen the floorboards of any juke-joint, dive bar or rock-n-roll piss-hole. Following a devilish re-working of The Cure’s “A Forest,” Leg ends the album with two decidedly more subdued tracks – “Disappearing” and the even gentler soulful ballad of “What More,” complete with heavenly call-and-response female harmonies. While this may suggest Leg moving towards a, dare we say, more mature musical direction, make no mistake that Below The Belt hits as hard and heavy as ever, and turns out to be one helluva rock-n-roll TKO.

    Leg will be embarking on a number of headlining club tours in support of Below The Belt, including U.S. dates in Jul/Aug, a Deep Blues Festival performance in south Germany in Aug, UK & Ireland dates in Sep/Oct and finishing up the year in Europe in Oct/Nov. Specific tours dates for all of these runs to be announced soon.

    James Leg’s Below The Belt will be released on limited vinyl, CD and digital formats on September 4th via Alive Naturalsound Records.



    Tony Bonyata
    Pavement PR
    e: tony[AT]pavementpr.com


    James Leg, growler, shouter, composer, and Fender Rhodes finger-f*cker, of the Black Diamond Heavies, steps out with some friends for more songs of hedonistic excess, crazy-ass women and Southern salvation.

    On Solitary Pleasure he is joined by longtime friend and Cincinnati heavy hitter, Andy Jody (The Gazelles, Pearlene, The Long Gones, The Customs, Oxford Cotton, Barrence Whitfield and The Savages) on drums.

    The album was recorded in December 2010 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee during a record cold snap, in the oldest standing church in Rutherford County, now the home of an all analog studio called Grand Palace Studio. The result was then rushed up to Detroit and mixed by Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders.

    Heavy conditions give birth to heavy records.

    Rock and Soul all night long.

    Solitary Pleasure will be available on April 5th on CD, Limited Editon Pink Vinyl (with free poster) and Digital formats through Alive Records.

    Solitary Pleasure Track Listing:
    1. Have To Get It On
    2. Do How You Wanna
    3. Nobody’s Fault
    4. No License (Soing For The Caged Bird)
    5. Georgia
    6. Fire and Brimstone
    7. Whatever It Takes
    8. Drowning In Fire
    9. Drinking Too Much
    10. No Time To Tarry




    Tony Bonyata
    Pavement PR
    p: 262.903.7775
    e: bonyata@wi.rr.com

    Comments are closed.


    • The new album from musician James Leg, also known as one half of the rowdy blues/punk/soul hybrid Black Diamond Heavies, could pass as the soundtrack to some sort of immoral revivalist service. His second solo record, Below the Belt is built around Leg's thick keyboard sound, driving drums and his wildly charismatic and gruff vocal performance. - ALLMUSIC
    • James Leg's menacing track "Dirty South" is as haunting as it is strangely soothing. - PURE VOLUME
    • Dirty. Gritty. Awesome. Below The Belt is a hard-hitting record that is soaked in garage rock and raw blues. - DIFFUSER.FM
    • Below The Belt is the best album James Leg has done yet. - GLACIALLY MUSICAL
    • This is a rare raw delight. All hail the Reverend. - CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE
    • A really cool and diverse record. – WRITING ABOUT MUSIC
    • Hallelujah, brothers and sisters. Welcome to the Church of Garage-Rock Hellfire. Open your hymnals to today’s selections: Gospel by Sister Rosetta, secular fare from The Cure, Dirtbombs and more — all fearsomely proffered by evil and evangelical Rev. Leg (a.k.a. John Wesley Myers), an unholy southern roller who stole his Hammond organ from Satan’s cocktail lounge and has a voice like Tom Waits with strep throat. Please pass the communion bourbon. - TORONTO SUN
    • The baritone beast that is James Leg (aka John Wesley Myers of the Black Diamond Heavies) is back with an eternally powerful offering of hypnotic, distortion gospel-blues and cement-hearted rock-n-soul. Working his trademark Fender Rhodes piano into a tizzy backed by drums and guitar tones to wake the dead, Below The Belt feels as if Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, and Booker T and the MGs played the party that accidentally burned down Junior’s Place on April 6, 2000 in Culahoma, MS and engraved that night onto vinyl. - NO DEPRESSION
    • The Reverend James Leg (Black Diamond Heavies) is back, looking to stun us with innovative, stripped-down blues that bisects your soul with shockingly intense keys and gravel-ground vocals. - ORLANDO WEEKLY
    • There’s a place where dirty blues, soul and gospel intersect that many aim for but few get near. That James Leg lands in the middle drop-zone with the precision of a BASE jumper on a million dollar bet says most of what you need to know about his latest solo record. - I-94 BAR
    • … shows the delicious duality of James Leg which enables him to make a satanically inspired, raucous noise for Saturday night can also deliver divinely-inspired, sweet music for Sunday morning. - SOMETHING ELSE
    • … gutter-bound rock pushed through Tom Waits-like pipes. - MILWUAKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL
    • With hands that move like hexed tarantulas, no one cranks the ivories as hard as James Leg. – ORLANDO WEEKLY
    • “… sure as shit James Leg is the real deal. Step into the limelight my friend, the world needs you!” - UBER ROCK UK
    • "I once described James Leg’s voice as what Tom Waits might sound like if he gargled with razor blades and whiskey and was SCREAMING the blues from the seventh circle of the deepest pit in hell. He still sounds that way, but on this album (his first solo album, outside of the magnificent Black Diamond Heavies) , it all sounds more…”churchy”. A church where they sing songs about drinkin', hell, temptation, jail, and crackheads. Glory!” - Ryan Mifflin / NO DEPRESSION

    • ” Long live rock and soul and pianos and devil horns.” – Stephen Haag / POPMATTERS

    • “Working outside the confines of his regular band [Black Diamond Heavies] finds Leg tapping into his extraordinary talent in ways that will leave listeners wondering why the hell he isn’t already on constant iPod rotation. Solitary Pleasure is a solid, great album. In fact, whether or not you’ve ever heard Black Diamond Heavies, this new CD is a must for local music enthusiasts—or even those who didn’t know that a talent like James Leg walks our streets.” - Chuck Crowder / CHATTANOOGA PULSE

    • “Solitary Pleasure is a record that recreates the in-your-face feel of being in a hot, sweaty, crowded club while Leg and his drummer Andrew Jody pound out some hot, rockin’ blues and soul stylings…. a great soundtrack to the party, whether it’s the one going down in your living room or the one going on inside your head.” – Johnny Walker / BLOGCRITICS
    • “If the Black Keys sold their souls to the devil – they’d probably end up playing like this.” – MAD MACKERAL / UK
    • “From his band the Black Diamond Heavies to his work with the Immortal Lee County Killers and contributions to albums by Scott H. Biram and Left Lane Cruiser on up to his new solo album, Solitary Pleasure, Myers is partially responsible for doling out some of the dirtiest, howlingest, most searing punk-ass blues ever produced.” – NOW THIS SOUND IS BRAVE
    • “Solitary Pleasure is one fine ride, even if the Leg’s wildman persona is largely held in check. Of course, he caterwauls about the temptations of wine and women with an arm firmly wrapped around each, and in a voice that would send Tom Waits scurrying after a Ricola. But more than anything, Solitary Pleasure gives Leg the opportunity to tap the breaks. As tempos grind down, melodies long held underground rub their tired eyes in the light of day, and Leg seems to revel in the freedom afforded by this, showing greater emotion and ambition than one might believe based solely on his output with Black Diamond Heavies. Nobody’s Fault is an almost disturbingly poignant number that pert near finds Leg sniffing radio fare, and could have easily slipped onto Waits’ Closing Time or Warren Zevon’s self-titled record without drawing fire. That being said, lead single “Drowning In Fire” casts Leg in a persona we’re all most comfortable with: whiskey-soaked James the Baptist, banging the ivories and pleading with the residents of an indifferent heaven.” – Richard ‘Luftmensch’ Morgan / MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG
    • “… sounds as if Howlin’ Wolf punched the Black Keys in the throat and stole their band.” – Jeffrey Lee Puckett / LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL
    • “John Wesley Meyers is indeed a remarkably talented piano man…sort of like the Jerry Lee Lewis of our time, and of the blues-punk scene, but with somewhat of a gravelly, Waitsian singing voice. Solitary Pleasure has ten songs in all, eight of which are originals, and all of them exceptional. It is unquestionably an album that is meant to be listened to in its entirety.” – NATIONAL EXAMINER
    • “Leg establishes himself in the style of an early era Leon Russell merged with some acute punk sensibilities. His keyboard work is both raw and multi-textured bringing a force of sound that clears the dust off your speakers. Like Russell, Leg also brings in a healthy dose of gospel fire that delivers another fervent level to the proceedings.” – Jim Markel / SWAMPLAND
    • “For any fan of The Black Diamond Heavies there is no need to “try before you buy”. You’re gonna love Solitary Pleasure. For anyone who’s ever felt BDH was a tad too lo-fi/in your face for your musical tastes it’s time to give James Leg a chance cause, for ninebullets, it’s Essential Listening.” – NINE BULLETS
    • “Myers’ Fender Rhodes sounds like an entire band with at least two electric guitars and a bass, especially in the energy laden opener “Have To Get It On.” His voice haunts you like Tom Waits on a bad day, while his Fender trips out the blues shuffle-bassline and a rockin’ melody on top of tha. The musical world is a better place for this fresh take on the blues. – WE HEARD THAT
    • “The Rev James Leg and his skin-bashin’ henchman are two holy rollin’ men in black treatin’ us to some unholy sonic hoodoo voodoo. They brew up a mean still’s worth of firewater-breathin’ garage-blues thrills that oughta be drunk all over the globe.” – WHISPERIN & HOLLERIN / UK
    • “James Leg, a.k.a. John Wesley Myers – who was a part of the last line-up of the Immortal Lee County Killers and comprises one half of the Black Diamond Heavies – is releasing his solo debut, Solitary Pleasure, on April 5th, and it is a delight. Leg expands his usual repertoire into piano bar ditties and gospel while still serving up slipping, sliding, sweaty blues-tinged rock and heavy soul with take-me-as-you-find-me lyrics. He even dips into comedy with “No License (Song for the Caged Bird)”, a song that begins with a sad trombone, ends with a Three Stooges motif, and plays like Fats Waller at the end of a week-long bender in between, in an ode to one hell of a dame.” – NO DEPRESSION
    • “If James Leg’s record sounds uncannily like the guy who sings for the Black Diamond Heavies it’s because he’s John Wesley Myers of that same band. Solitary Pleasure dips into common musical paint pots (bluesy keyboards, greasy soul and raucous garage), mixes in a bit more pop and splatters the lot over a wide canvas.Leg’s guttural vocal is at the heart of this music and his trademark Fender Rhodes accompaniment isn’t going anywhere soon. These eight original songs are about messed-up or messy girls, blown dough and the rigours of coming down from the road.” – I-94 BAR
    • “ … breathes new life into the blues and soul with a unique sound.” ROOTSTIME / Belgium