Review: Reverend Freakchild – Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues

Posted on: Thursday, Sep 24, 2015

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Reverend Freakchild – Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues

(Treated And Released Records: T&R 006)

The name and title did make me expect something along the lines of Dave Arcari in his more anarchic moments, but in fact this New York blues singer and guitarist shows a very individual approach to the blues, with most numbers drawing in the fine rhythm section of bassist Tugboat Eustis and experienced drummer Chris Parker, plus American blues and roots duo Mulebone members High Pool on lap steel and harmonica and John Ragusa, who contributes flute to one tracks (‘Moonlight Messages’), and both singing background in places.

The result is a very melodic and rather funky blues-based album, ranging from the harmonics of the aptly named ‘Lullaby’ to the heavy blues shuffle of ‘She Wants My Name’ and the psychedelic blues of the instrumental ‘Soul Transforming Realization’. As that song title might indicate, this isn’t a standard 12 bar retread, though the good Reverend can also convince any lingering doubters with the closing traditional number, ‘I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down’, owing a lot to Mississippi Fred McDowell.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.www-reverendfreakchild.org

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