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As if Left Lane Cruiser wasn't capable of stirring up a loud and dirty enough version of the blues, the group invited James Leg of Black Diamond Heavies along for the fun. Since LLC dusts it up with slide guitar (Frederick “Joe” Evans IV) and drums (Brenn Beck), adding keyboard demon Leg and his brand of feral soul to the mix makes for an exhilarating, combustible ride. Both duos grind out the muddiest, most menacing kind of blues, and on Painkillers LLC gives a tip of the trucker hat to its inspirations. The group starts off, in fact, with Junior Kimbrough’s “Sad Days Lonely Nights,” with Leg’s organ (and voice) laying a ragged howl over Evans’ unhinged, swamp-blues slide guitar. It's a thrilling, unholy alliance. From the gale-force power of Hound Dog Taylor’s “She’s Gone” to the darkly terrifying tones of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster” and the piano-inflected boogie of Robert Johnson’s “Ramblin’ on My Mind,” Painkillers offers up the kind of messy good times that only happen in the morning's wee hours, deceptively delivered in a tidy, tiny package of 10 songs. Credit the raw, raging harmonica to Detroit’s Harmonica Shah.


Formed: 2004 in Fort Wayne, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Specializing in a raw hillbilly punk-blues style that roars like a tweaking modal chain saw, Left Lane Cruiser is a two-piece band originally comprising Frederick "Joe" Evans IV on slide guitar and Brenn Beck on drums. The pair came out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, but their sound had the swampy feel of North Mississippi hill country blues à la Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside, with a good dose of snarling garage punk tossed into the mix. A self-released album, Gettin' Down on It, was released on the...
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Painkillers, Left Lane Cruiser
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