Even though I’m not a modern country music fan, lately I’ve been a fan of musicians with tasteful and/or jaw-dropping chops that make their living playing offshoots of country music, which include bluegrass, Americana, Western swing, and rockabilly. Reverend Horton Heat has those types of musicians, and certainly could be called rockabilly. But they’ve taken the “rock” in rockabilly and replaced it with psycho. And it became psychobilly, characterized by gritty and rock-induced electric guitar riffs with a backbone of rockabilly and sometimes punk-rock rhythm provided by uptempo drums and slap-happy upright bass. Some even call it punkabilly because of its fast-paced nature. This combination means a rewarding live show. RHH weren’t the inventors of psychobilly, but they provided their audience with their own interesting interpretation of it through constant touring during the last 25+ years. When you’re touring profitably for that long, you’re doing something right, and they are. Despite having multiple label changes throughout their career, Reverend Horton Heat is still rocking and they’ve chosen Exit/In to release their psycho vibes in Nashville. They just recently signed with Victory Records. Check out a short band interview and some live footage in the video below.
You may remember Hillbilly Casino from our write-up about last summer’s Black 13 Tattoo Birthday Party at Mercy Lounge. It’s absolutely fitting for them to be on this bill, and I couldn’t be prouder that they’re from Nashville. (Did you just witness a Nashville transplant from D.C. say that? Yes, you did.) It’s also awesome that they embrace the DIY (do it yourself) approach. They may be slightly more traditional rockabilly than RHH, but they’re just as likely to ignite a liquor-slaying, tattoo-sporting good time. Check out the title track off their 2010 release Tennessee Stomp below.
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