The Reverend Horton Heat
The Reverend Horton Heat is playing tomorrow night at Mississippi Nights with Horrorpops.
This post also serves as another post in my Self-Indulgent Musical Memories series of posts (see previous entries here and here).
I have seen the Reverend more times than I have seen any band (barely beating out Old 97s), with the current count standing somewhere in the 30-35 range. It has actually been almost two years since the last time I saw the band, so I am very excited about tomorrow night's show.
I first got into the band about 11 years ago, right around the release of 1995's Liquor in the Front. That album still stands out as an all-time favorite for me. Everytime I listen to it, I am reminded of driving around Dallas with friends, looking for bad neighborhoods that might have liquor stores that wouldn't card, when our old standby's like Cool's were closed or for some reason were carding. I am reminded of the many hours pre-partying in the free parking in Deep Ellum behind the old furniture store on Elm before we made our way into Trees to see the show. And I am reminded of consistently great live shows put on by a great showman (even if the majority of these memories are heavily biased by the consumption of booze - the Reverend's shows have a tendency to lead you down that path). The trio of guitarist and band leader Jim "The Reverend" Heath, bassist Jimbo "Nature Boy" Wallace, and new drummer Paul Simmons always put on an entertaining and lively show. The band helped bring the term "psychobilly" to a wider audience, expanding on the musical template of The Cramps, combining rockabilly, punk, surf rock, and country into one high-energy package, topped off by the unique and expert guitar playing of Heath.
In the heady days of 95-98, the Reverend usually opened his shows with the one-two-three-four punch of Liquor in the Front's first four songs: "Big Sky"/"Baddest of the Bad"/"One Time for Me"/"Five-O Ford". That's a hell of a way to start off a show, and it's a testament to the strength of that album that they kept opening with that set of songs well after they released subsequent albums.
When I went away to college in 1996, I was able to see the band in my college town once or twice a year, and the band was inevitably playing in Dallas on the weekends I would come home - especially on Thanksgiving weekend and often on Christmas night. I have yet to see them in St. Louis, despite the fact I've lived here for 6 years.
Reverend Horton Heat - Bales of Cocaine
Reverend Horton Heat - Big Red Rocket of Love
Reverend Horton Heat - Baddest of the Bad
Reverend Horton Heat - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash cover)