So what are you doing Friday night? If you are sitting around with nothing to do or are still trying to put your plans together, might I strongly suggest you get your can to the Cain’s Ballroom for Reverend Horton Heat and Deadbolt?
Always a Tulsa favorite for their stage show, "the Rev" bring it back to the Cain’s in support of their latest studio release, "Laughin’ and Cryin’ with The Reverend Horton Heat." The offering is the first since 2004’s "Revival" if you don’t count the Christmas disc "We Three Kings" in 2005.
I was able to sit down and talk with Jim Heath (The Good Reverend) on Wednesday (via phone call) and pick his brain a little about the new album, his musical styling and other random questions that I was curious about.
Jim is a very down to earth guy, which is rare these days in the music industry. He is laid back and jovial. I placed the call around 3:00 pm and got his voice-mail, left a message and waited (so did my sons, 12 and 13 staring at the phone waiting to see him call back). Around 4:00 pm the phone rings and it is Jim Heath, he says, "with Reverend Horton Heat." He immediately starts to apologize for not picking up when I called.
I tell him quickly, "Man, that is no problem at all, you are a busy guy." He thanks me and we are off.
What follows is a shotgun blast of questions to which I am sure may have made him wonder, "Where the heck is this coming from?" Graciously, he pacifies me and follows along.
Those of you that are even passing fans of RHH know that they come to Tulsa often and are a mainstay at Cain’s Ballroom. So I ask, "It seems that you come to Tulsa a lot, is there a connection with Tulsa, through the Tulsa sound or the Cain’s, what is the draw?" His response is simple and straight forward, "We just love the fans in Tulsa, they are fun and enthusiastic. The Cain’s is one of the best ballrooms in the country and it is just a great place to play." We talk about some of the history of the Cain’s and what it has meant to some of the sound of music in the land and shift to the new album. It is a bit of a departure from some of the other discs they have put out, noticeably more of a country feel to it. "It has been a few years since your last album, is that because of your touring schedule?" I inquire. "There has been some stuff go on personally with us so that put it off for awhile, but honestly we were putting out a new album every couple of years and our fans are kinda slow to get into each album, so by the time they really got to know it, we would put out a new album and kinda piss fans off because it would be a little different. So we just decided to take out time." he replies slowly and contemplatively. That makes sense when you move from sound to sound like Rev tends to do.
The new album, like others has some very funny songs on it. Two that stand out are "Beer Holder" and "Don’t Take Your Baby to the Liquor Store." The first is 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. The latter about a mother whose baby is crying and wanting a bottle and she is being told not a liquor store bottle, that is not the kind he wants.
I ask Jim about his use of satire and humor in writing, "A lot of your songs use humor in them, does this come from just a fun loving drive or is there some stories behind them? Like the ones about Jimbo, are those just jam sessions or does Jimbo have a hand in those?" He laughs and responds, "Some of them have stories behind them, but not my stories. Most are just fun things we hit on. If I wrote songs about my life it would be, "Hey buddy, can you tell me where the laundry mat is?" with the Jimbo songs they aren’t jam sessions I am trying to write songs and Jimbo will come in and I will be writing and he will add to them, he pretty much wrote the chorus to "The Jimbo Song" we just try to write and see what happens, then polish the song, it has to be a good song or it just doesn’t work." (Jimbo is Jimbo Wallace, upright bass and backing vocals)
Our conversation continues and changes focus on his choice in music style. "You do a little bit of every kind of music, you do cover versions of Nirvana, Johnny Cash, and Motorhead. Was there a crossroads that you got to at some point that took you where you are today?" He answers, "I am not sure if there was a crossroad that I reached, I just wanted to do music that was fun and that fans liked." He adds, "We do a lot of different stuff that we want to do, we do some alternative stuff which is kind of what we started with and it just grew from there. Now we just do what is fun and gives the fans something to listen to."
The time we spend tells me that Jim is just a regular Joe who is doing what he loves to do and it shows as they are constant in their touring schedule. I tell him it has been a pleasure talking to him and look forward to seeing him Friday night, he again starts to apologize, "Man, I am just sorry that it was kinda messed up." I tell him not to worry and to keep on doing what you are doing, we love him here in Tulsa and dig the music. He humbly replies, "Thanks man, I really appreciate that."
Again, even more-so now I say, if you are looking for a fun night out, even if you have never seen Reverend Horton Heat before, you owe it to yourself to check out his show on Friday night, January 22.
Reverend Horton Heat with special guest, Deadbolt
Cain’s Ballroom, January 22, 2010
Doors open at 7:00 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm
Tickets at Cain’s Box Office and all Reasors stores
$17 advance/$25 day of show, all ages welcome