July 29 Reverend Horton Heat is back at Lefty’s w/ The Goddamn Gallows/ Jacob County & The Damaged Goods!!!!
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.
The Goddamn Gallows – The Goddamn Gallows began on a cold, dark and violent night in Lansing, Michigan, when 3 kids met in a face-scarring fight with Benton Harbor gangbangers at a notorious East Lansing flophouse.
They then migrated across the country, residing in LA squats and smoke stained apartments.
They are currently ravaging the states with their unique sound of furious, twanged-out, punk rock gutterbilly. Watch for them on corners, clubs and city jails in your town.
Jacob County & The Damaged Goods ~ is an explosive and energetic 4 piece from Des Moines, Iowa. As a native of Iowa, Jacob County only thinks it fair that The Damaged Goods be considered the pioneers of “corn punk”, which is his interpretation of mixing traditional rock ‘n’ roll with elements of punk, beat up country, rockabilly, blues and some traditional folk/bluegrass.
All 4 members are currently working to release a physical CD for Jacob County & The Damaged Goods which is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2016. The band keeps busy playing shows throughout Des Moines and have been invited to play some larger venues outside of town. They have had the honor of sharing the stage with acts such as Legendary Leon Russell, The Reverend Horton Heat, J.D. Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers, Truckstop Honeymoon and the Supersuckers to name a few!
The members come from very diverse musical and instrumental backgrounds. Members include Jacob County, Beth Spaniel, Dennis Bloodwater (Dee Blood) & Dirk William Newton. After originally wanting the band to be comprised of a wealth of wandering talent, Jacob County hand picked a permanent cast that compliments his style and attitude.
Dirk Newton, often known for his superb knowledge of guitar(owner of Des Moines infamous Dirk’s Guitars), is the colorful commentator behind the skins. Dee Blood can be seen swaying to the music with his eyes closed as he creates melodic magical tones on the 6 string Tele. On bass, Beth Spaniel walks her fingers on the strings as if it’s easier than breathing. Last, but most certainly not least, Jacob County, whose booming vocals and memorable guitar riffs & heartfelt songwriting provide the basis for the band. Everyone as a whole create a sight and sound experience that is talked about and revered.
“In today’s hard to follow musical popularity patterns and regurgitated techno backbeats, Jacob County & The Damaged Goods provide a fresh outlook on music itself!!!” – Greg Waldrop, Dangerous Music Inc.
“Jacob is on the short list of the most widely respected musicians in central Iowa. It’s almost a rite of passage for local musicians to say that they have played with Jacob County. He’s got that rare hybrid of natural talent and genuine humility.. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him play where my jaw has hit the floor. Every time he gets on stage, it’s golden perfection. But then the next time I’ll see him, it’s as if he has raised the bar even higher. He’s as good as there is on the guitar, and based off the underlying talent that is here in Des Moines, that is saying a lot. And he’s a helluva songwriter.” – Troy Church, The Bigfoot Diaries