Rev. Horton Heat

House of Independents, Asbury Park, NJ

Reverend Horton Heat
House of Independents
Asbury Park, NJ - December 6, 2016

- Dennis Morgillo 

It was a night of Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Country, and Rock and Roll as The Reverend Horton Heat hit Asbury Park NJ.

The Reverend Horton Heat is of course, Jim Heath, aka the Godfather of Psychobilly. 

The House of Independents is a beautiful theater on the Jersey Shore and it was packed on this rainy Tuesday night.  The crowd was lubed up, primed, and ready to rock, by the opening acts: Lucky Tubb, and Nashville Pussy. 

Rev. Horton Heat hit the stage, looking cool as hell. Dressed all in black and slicked back, Jim had his Gretsch slung high, and ready for battle. He came out blistering to ‘Big Sky’. Jim Heath is one of the most versatile, electrifying guitarists around. He mixes elements of jazz, rockabilly, country, blues and rock n roll into his own inimitable style. A true virtuoso on that beautiful guitar. 

The band blistered into ‘Baddest of the Bad’, ‘Girl in Blue’, ‘Zombie Dumb’ and ‘Psychobilly Freakout’.  For the Chuck Berry classic ‘Little Queenie’, Jim and Bass Player Jimbo Wallace traded instruments. Jim made easy work of the upright Bass as Jimbo took his turn at bending the strings on the Gretsch. 

There was a bass solo, The Reverend standing on top of the Bass, and a drum solo. Now I have not enjoyed a drum solo since Santana at Woodstock, but Drummer Scott Churilla was incredible and rhythmic during his solo. Twirling the sticks and beating on those drums with reckless abandonment.   

Special Guest ‘Unknown Hinson’, came out to join the band for a few songs. Hinson aka Stuart Daniel Baker, is a comedian, musician and actor best known as the voice of ‘Early Cuyler’ on the cartoon series ‘Squidbillies.’ Hinson, in a black tuxedo with bolo tie and black bouffant hair, took me by surprise. Hinson is an amazing guitarist as well, and performed a great set with hysterical songs including ‘Your Man is Gay’ which had the entire crowd singing along.   

Blaine Cartwright of Nashville Pussy joined the band on an incredible version of ‘Ace of Spades’, the ‘Motorhead’ Classic. They closed the show with a tribute to the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, with ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.

For the encore, Lucky Tubb came back out, and I felt as if I was at The Grand Ole Opry. Lucky is the great nephew of the Country legend Ernest Tubb. The stage was filled with musicians and cowboy hats, as they performed the Ernest Tubb classic ‘Driving Nails In My Coffin’.  

It was a night of great musicians, and great music. The bands were having fun and the crowd was ecstatic. The Rev. took us to Church, with an old school, traveling tent show and revival. If you were not a believer, you were definitely converted after this show.  

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