Reverend Horton Heatwith:
- Wayne "The Train" Hancock
- Deke Dickerson
It's been an almost 20-year journey for Heath, whose country-flavored punkabilly and onstage antics have brought him and his band a strikingly diverse fan base and a devoted cult following, not to mention the respect of fellow musicians worldwide. Revival, the band's first release for Yep Roc Records, is a return to Heath's roots - musical and geographical.
The album was recorded at Last Beat Studio in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas, just a block from where The Rev played his first gig and next door to where the group currently rehearses. Along with eating a lot of world-class Mexican food and BBQ, the band recorded the album's 15 tracks with a minimum of overdubs, bells and whistles. With tour manager/engineer Dave Allen at the board, they wanted an album they could duplicate live.
"I got this lick called the 'hurricane,' and I call back on the hurricane on this album for the sake of keeping things really rockin," he says. (The "hurricane" is a trademark lick where The Rev plays lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously to give the trio its full live sound.) He's also got a top-secret lick he'll introduce on this disc. It's so top secret that he won't even divulge the name, but listen up for it! Lyrically, the album's themes run "from death to silliness," says The Rev, who lost his mother earlier this year. "I'd been going through so much stuff, losing my mom so quickly, new baby, touring, getting back and having to work," he says of making the album. Revival finds the Rev dealing with these issues and more: The track "Someone in Heaven" is written for his mother, while "Indigo Friends" deals with a friend's heroin addiction. But the album's themes aren't only dark and/or serious: "Calling in Twisted" is about calling in sick to work and "using the fake cough," "Rumble Strip" is a truck drivin song and "If it Ain't got Rhythm", "that's a really fun one to play," says the Rev "it is classic RHH. And "Party Mad" is pretty self-explanatory.
Reunited with legendary producer/engineer Ed Stasium, who mixed the album, Revival is a 40-plus minute slab of rockabilly, blues, R&B that shows an artist - and a band - in their prime. It's true that the Reverend Horton Heat have been called a great many things over the course of their storied career: Perpetual Carriers Of The Rockabilly Flame, Genre-Shattering Shit-Starters, Filthy Drunks, and The Most Electrifying Live Act In America (150 shows every year can't be wrong) among them.
"I think it's cool we've lasted this long," says The Rev. "People still come out to see us play after all these years and all the shows and tours. It's amazing. I mean, I get to sing songs about cars I love, drinking and chasing girls. Beats the hell out of the alternative."