Reverend Horton Heat Preaches the Psychobilly Gospel

Vinyl, December 4

Photo by Wayne Posner / Kabik Photo Group

Photo by Wayne Posner / Kabik Photo Group

It may have been chilly outside, but it was a hot night inside Vinyl. The BellRays delivered their brand of booty-shaking rock n’ soul, with lead singer Lisa Kekaula unleashing her powerful pipes on the hard-driving “Maniac Blues,” the exultant “Everybody Get Up” and even a few Christmas tunes.

As always, the Revered Horton Heat took the stage with a flashy suit, a hollowbody guitar and a wicked sense of humor. The scorching six-string rave-up of “Psychobilly Freakout” reminded us that he was one of the godfathers of the genre, as did the propulsive swagger of “Baddest of the Bad.”  The hilarious country-spoof “Bales of Cocaine” raised whoops and hollers from the crowd, who yelled even louder when the Rev kicked into “Jimbo,” a racecar-paced homage to his bassist, which he delivered standing atop Jimbo’s standup bass while the song’s namesake slapped along.

Jim Heath played his first gig as the Revered Horton Heat almost 30 years ago—back then there probably wasn’t a cluster of parents with their Brylcreem-haired and Misfit T-shirted pre-teens down front. But, hey, I’m all for anything that steers the kids away from Taylor Swift and One Direction and toward good, old-fashioned wholesome entertainment like Revered Horton Heat. ★★★✩✩