The Reverend Horton Heat

2019 - “I’m afraid I’m on the Willie Nelson retirement program, which means I’ll never retire,” promises Jim Heath, sounding every inch a Texan.

By day, Jim Heath is a mild-mannered musical historian well-versed in the birthing days of rock and roll. But when the sun goes down, he straps on his signature Gretsch 6120, steps up to the mike and is transformed into REVEREND HORTON HEAT, a hellfire-spewing, rock and roll dare-demon.

Jim’s tome is iconic: From recording with Lemmy Kilmister, being revered by country music legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, touring with Soundgarden, ZZ Top, The Cramps, Social Distortion, White Zombie and the Sex Pistols (a young Lydon was connected to Jim’s original 1985 demo), to providing touring opps to upstarts Kyuss, Hank III, Marilyn Manson and countless others across decades on the road.

Heath and longtime confidant and slap-bass general Jimbo Wallace have polished up their 12threlease, Whole New Life, which Heath calls “the most positive material I have ever written. It focuses heavily on rock and roll but there is a human interest parallel - songs about growing up poor, vices, marriage, having children and walking the rapturous streets of America.”

Call it a new twist on an old sound, Whole New Life was recorded between Fun Guy Studios and Modern Electric in the band’s hometown of Dallas. The eleven track rumination features new sticksman Arjuna ‘RJ’ Contreras. The Texas based jazz pupil came to the bands attention from a friend’s reference in the summer of 2017, and brought a whole new backbeat to the legendary rockabilly administration. After clicking with Contreras, Heath hired a new pianist in 2018, Matt Jordan, to flesh out the sound with the pomp and power of Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. “I love playing with these guys, it truly is a whole new band, so the title fits perfectly.”

Recording the album, Heath recalled that “Back in the 1950’s, reverb chambers were really hip and I always loved their warmth. I’m all about Sam Phillips and the things he did with tape machines and tape echo. I love that kind of production value, even if it is older than me! It really sent me to this whole other headspace where I worked with a lot of vintage gear on this album - some of which I built myself for a truly unique sound - ribbon, old tube microphones, pre-amps and stuff. Additionally, a year before I started piecing this together I worked especially hard on my singing voice. Whole New Life brought out something in me where I am screaming more and making more throaty sounds. It's got some Louisiana feel to it, a bit of gruff and some Roy Orbison style in it. We tested out new tracks on our most recent tour and they are working better with the audience than any new songs we premiered since the early days of the band.”

“This tour started around 1986,” Heath chuckles dryly. REVEREND HORTON HEAT still performs nearly 200 shows annually, including their trademark Horton’s Hayride Festival in Southern California, which has expanded to an end-of-the-year jamboree under the name Horton’s Holiday Hayride. The band has also wowed sold-out crowds with their multi-city residencies across America, including performances at Coachella, Reading, Austin City Limits, Riot Fest and countless other festivals. The Texas troubadours also took a unique approach to the term ‘Special Guests’ on recent tours. Recalling the time the band opened for Jerry Lee Lewis, Heath had a vision, “The idea of playing in Jerry’s backing band would have been pretty neat. So every once in a while we’ll have a load of fun putting that aspect in our live set. In the middle of our set, we’ll have a special guest come on stage for a mini-set where REVEREND HORTON HEAT is the backing band. The first time we did it was with Lemmy Kilmister. We stopped our set midway, the road crew dragged a Marshall amp on stage, wiped the Rickenbacker clean and out came Lem. He was adamant on playing deep cuts, but I fought tooth and nail with him to do ‘Ace Of Spades.’ I told him, ‘Lemmy, we must do this song, we have to give the people want they want.’ He took a drag of his smoke, looked me square in the eye, and said ‘Never give them what they want, give them what they need!’”

With over 1 million albums sold and nearly 35 years in the game, Heath and company have been delivering blood-pressure inducing scriptures to millions of fans worldwide. Call it rock and roll, psychobilly or what have you, REVEREND HORTON HEAT is often considered an early architect of the latter genre (at least on this side of the Atlantic) and occupies a peculiar place in American musical terrain.


Sexy, funky-as-hell, pop music" is what critics are saying about
Gurufish (Ear Magazine). Electrifying audiences everywhere
with their own provocative blend of pop, funk and soul, and
their over-the-top performance spectacle, Gurufish excels at
weaving irresistible melodies around hypnotic, funky grooves
to give birth to songs that are hooky, sexy and sophisticated.
This multi-dimensional ensemble's kaleidoscopic blend of genres
is what makes them appealing to a wide variety of audiences.
Songs that sound at once fresh and familiar are served with
generous injections of funk and soul and sprinkled with
psychedelic twists, glam rock and soulful jazz. Gurufish is glitter
soul. Founded by singer/songwriter/producer Jimmy St. James
and accompanied by co-writers Matty Haze on guitar and
DeWitt Ellis on bass,with Steve Dixon on drums, Gurufish is
currently playing dates in support of their most recent critically
acclaimed release, "Mohair Supreme", while recording and
preparing for a new release in the spring of 2013. They have
shared the bill with such prestigious acts as: The Brand New
Heavies, Nikka Costa, P.M. Dawn,The Spin Doctors, Derek Trucks,
The Flaming Lips, Galactic,Cypress Hill, Ghostland Observatory,
The White Stripes, LMFAO, The Isley Brothers, Dag, Foreigner,
and the P-Funk Allstars.


Atlanta artist Vince Zangaro cannot help but mix his music and love of it with personal missions. Zangaro is passionate about the part music can play as a leveler and healer and how it helps communicate complex social issues and situations to those willing to listen.
“It truly amazes me what the gift of song can give to others if you just give listeners your honesty and heart.” says Zangaro, of his evolving music path. “I take care of my father. He has Alzheimer’s. And as his disease has progressed, so have I. I’ve made inroads into being a better writer, musician and man. I’m finally becoming proud of the music that I create because it affects people in profound ways. It can actually affect change for the better.”
Zangaro admittedly didn’t start out playing music to touch hearts and influence thoughts. “I started taking piano and keyboard lessons in 5th grade from renowned musician Peggy Still. Theory was not my strong suit, and she saw almost instantaneously that writing was my gift.” Zangaro laughs as he continues.“ But for me, at seventeen, it was just a way to be popular with girls and do all the other things musicians can get away with just because they’re musicians!” Zangaro’s high school band, This and That, were local scene favorites in the mid 90s and routinely co-headlined clubs like The Roxy, The Masquerade and Cotton Club. After the band broke up, Zangaro picked up an acoustic guitar and taught himself to play.
“I wanted to always be able to move forward, even if the people I was playing with lacked the motivation to progress.” he says.
Zangaro moved from being a rocker to the corporate rock world as a regional manager for the mega brand Hot Topic.
“My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 63. Three years ago, at 68, it became apparent he could no longer care for himself. Vince Zangaro has been caring for him ever since. Two years ago Amy, Vince’s fiancée, moved in and joined the cause. It’s been a huge adjustment, but it’s also allowed me to flex my creativity with other Atlanta writers and develop a mission to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s, addiction and other issues that have touched me through my life.”
Jason Salzman and Blue Blanket Studios have been instrumental in Zangaro’s musical development as has the incomparable Lefty Williams from The Lefty Williams Band. “Matthew Trautwein from Bill Gentry and Anne-Marie Perry from Green Bracelet have also been an incredible inspiration and help.”
Zangaro’s music has been likened to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Band. But his most stunning comparison is to Smashing Pumpkins front man, Billy Corgan. Zangaro’s voice carries the same is arresting, moody quality and brims with the emotion his original songs are laced with.
Zangaro is planning a concert event to help those dealing with caring for relatives affected with Alzheimer’s at home. “It’s a devastating illness. Our Alzheimer’s Music Fest will be a way for people to come hear some great music and support a meaningful cause.”
“My dad’s disease has affected me a great deal over the past three years.” admits Zangaro. “ I am happy to say that through this experience a lot of nonsense and selfishness has washed away, and sometimes I feel I have learned more from my father through his disease than his health. It is a constant struggle, but on most days he brings me and Amy more happiness than many will see in their lifetime. On April 1st, he will turn 71 years old, and I am very proud of the man he was and is. Hopefully my music will be way to raise awareness of how many of us are going through this. We’re all very committed to giving our loved ones a happy lifestyle for many years to come.

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