Except when I've been embarrassingly fucked-up, I've never used the word "righteous" as a synonym for "cool"--that's something I associate with freakily intense, gruff-voiced NA members who call white guys "brother." But it'd seem wrong to describe the Black Diamond Heavies and their gnarlified blues rock without using bro language, so I'll go ahead and call them righteous. I walked into the middle of their set at the Bottle a few months ago, well after they'd locked into the burly groove they do best. Over a mean backbeat, a guy wearing a southern-scummy combo of aviator shades, goatee, and wife beater was pounding out debased organ gospel while a fat dude named Porkchop blasted the dirtiest guitar leads I've ever heard. A dozen generations of hillbilly ancestry lit up in my DNA and I had a sudden craving for biscuits and whiskey. It almost goes without saying that the Heavies' self-released debut, the EP You Damn Right, can't touch the furious raunch of their live shows, and their forthcoming full-length--as a duo, sans Porkchop--doesn't even try. Instead it makes with the backwoods snake-handling insanity and takes you to some Beefheart-weird places. The Buffalo Killers and We March open. Wed 7/19, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Fil Manley.