Guitar Player Presents Reverend Horton Heat

Reverend Horton Heat

Recently, the Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, had something along the lines of what he calls an epiphany.

He's a little tired of being taken so seriously-well, maybe not seriously, exactly, but you get the idea-and lately he's noticed that some of his funnier, country-tinged songs were his biggest crowd pleasers. Besides, being entertaining is what this is all about, right?

So, ladies and gents, roll your smokes up in your sleeve and hold on to your cowboy hats, it's time to take a trip back to a time before slick, over-produced country became the norm-a time when outlaws wrote songs about being without a pot to piss in-or at least about psycho exboyfriends and deadbeat girlfriends that spend your paycheck faster than you can say Lone Star.

Welcome to Laughin' and Cryin' with the Reverend Horton Heat a record full of country-heavy tunes about bad habits, well-meaning but clueless husbands, ever-expanding beer-guts and, well, Texas. It wouldn't be a Reverend Horton Heat record without a song or-in this case, two-about the Lone Star State. And, while Laughin' and Cryin' marks a detour from the hard driving punkabilly of the Rev's last record, 2004's Revival, this time tending toward honk, there's still some shit-kickers ["Death Metal Guys"] to let you know that Heath and crew still mean business.

"I really wanted to capture the feelings of recordings of the late '50s, early '60s," Heath said of the songs on the new record.

Exhibit A: Beer Holder, a honky-tonker about a guy who finds the table by his chair a bit too far of a stretch-so he opts for a new "beer holder," his growing gut. While this guy finds his solution genius, his woman thinks otherwise.

"[The record is] kind of from a regular guy point of view," Heath said. "You know, I like to do stuff that's kind of tongue-in-cheek that makes fun of the good old boy thing as much as trying to glorify the country boy thing."

Heath originally conceived the new record as the product of an alter ego, Harley Hog, a sort of "laughing and crying" singer.

"I was trying to develop this vocal style where I was always either laughing or crying. It was really over- exaggerated," Heath said.

The problem once they got in the studio, however, "we wouldn't get that far because the guys were just laughing so hard. It was really kind of ridiculous."

Without a doubt, the mighty Reverend has won a cult following around the world these past 20+ years with a nearly endless touring ethic and musical style that's equally as rooted in tradition as it is in breaking it. He's one of the lynchpins of the neoroots movement and responsible for moving the genre forward and garnering it a whole new generation of fans. Mix that with a mythic stage presence and you've got a live act that turns rock clubs into psychobilly tent revivals across the country 300 days a year.

Heath, who personally loves good old, mid-20th century country music, cautions that the record was not born out of a desire to introduce his audience to a new set of influences-it's just meant to have a little fun. Besides, he warns, his next record may just be a set of "avant-garde versions of Swahili folk songs done on homemade instruments."

"Never say never," Heath said.

Larry and His Flask

Larry And His Flask is made up of 6 young men who play their hearts out every chance they get! With beginnings in Redmond, Oregon LAHF started playing in late 2003 as a 3 piece punk rock band and have since evolved into a 6 man hillbilly jamboree. Passion and love of life is what powers them. It's never about drugs, money, or fancy things. It's about those perfect moments in a dank, poorly lit, cramped basement, a star lit field or a filthy street corner. Those are the moments that will last forever. With no sign of stopping or even breaking pace it is their every intention to sweat, bleed, travel to the point of exhaustion, and do anything it takes to take the music to the people who need it!

Deke Dickerson

A native of Columbia, Missouri, Deke Dickerson was born June 3, 1968. Growing up on a farm gave him an interesting slant on life and certainly contributed to his love of all things retro. By age 13 Deke's musical abilities began to show themselves. Playing in bands around his home town allowed the budding prodigy to nurture his growing talent. At 17 he and some friends from high school formed their own band, the Untamed Youth, a garage band that favored surf guitar licks. During the course of time the Untamed Youth was together they operated as a national touring act and released four indie recordings while gaining a strong reputation in the Midwest. But, Dickerson wanted more and moved to the West Coast in 1991. He soon became entrenched in the L.A. roots and rockabilly scene and eventually hooked up with the equally talented Dave Stuckey, another Midwesterner who had transplanted his talent to the West Coast. Together they formed one of the premier hillbilly duos to come out of Los Angeles and released two projects, the second being the highly acclaimed CD, Hollywood Barndance.

While with Stuckey, Dickerson's expertise as a guitarist began to evolve into the definitive Dickerson style. Part rockabilly, part surf and rock 'n' roll with a strong dash of the Roy Nichols jazzy style of country guitar, Dickerson put his mark on his brand of guitar playing. Sadly, he needed to move on yet again inspite of the success of Dave & Deke and the overwhelming emotional connection their audiences seemed to feel for the twosome. Parting ways was difficult and their last performance on a hot summer's evening in 1996 at Jacks Sugar Shack, located at the corner of Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood, proved to be a hearbreaking experience for the SRO crowd. Yet, Dave & Deke never sounded better. While tears were shed, both looked towards a future as solo artists.

Under the watchful eye of manager Allen Larman, the same man who guided the career of Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys to success, Deke Dickerson spent the next year seeking out a band to join him on stage and in the studio. He had a vision built upon the sounds he loved from days gone by and found his dream band in a unit that he christened the Ecco-fonics. Armed with his 'trademark custom double-neck Mosrite guitar,' Deke and the Ecco-fonics began to meld together and played all around Los Angeles, Orange County and the West Coast. They were featured at such roots music spectaculars as the Irvine, California annual Fourth of July Hootenanny and the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly spectacle in Las Vegas, Nevada.

An accomplished engineer and studio producer, in 1998 Dickerson went into the studio in order to produce a solo project by the Fly-Rite Boys sans Big Sandy. Another critical success, Dickerson was ready to take the Ecco-fonics into the studio and record his first solo effort. The result of those sessions in 1998 was the Fall release of Number One Hit Record on HighTone's HMG label. More Million Sellers followed a year later; Rhythm, Rhyme, & Truth in fall 2000. ~ Jana Pendragon, All Music Guide
Written by Jana Pendragon

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Guitar Player Presents Reverend Horton Heat with Larry and His Flask, Deke Dickerson

Sunday, November 17 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Sweetwater Music Hall