Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues – Reverend Freakchild
With the title of the artist and album, Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues – Reverend Freakchild I was intrigued and looking forward to a sound that would challenge my definition of the blues and hopefully delight. Unfortunately I was greeted with little difference just some stretching of the Blues but this is basically an acoustic Blues album delivered by Reverend Freakchild with stomping rhythms, steel guitar and vocals that spit out the lyrics.
Opening with All I Got Is Now; the feel is traditional porch-step country blues that ebbs and flows around guitar and vocals , the chorus was Zen like but there was nothing deeply eastern and spiritual despite the biblical references and home-brewed philosophy of “Yesterday is a History, Tomorrows are a mystery , All I Got Is Now”. We have guitar and vocals that tell the tale of Keep on Truckin; a journey track that keeps us on the road with some hard edge drumming from Chris Parker. That said this is blues that you can listen to and delivered in a wholesome upbeat musical form. The change from the norm is the inclusion of three instrumentals when traditional blues always associated with the power of the story telling of clever lyrics. The instrumentals are Angel$ of Mercy, calming tempo and hints of eastern chords open Lullaby, and Soul Transforming Realization driven by combo eastern riffs and Chris Parker’s drumming.
Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues – Reverend Freakchild is not a traditional blues album for the purist it sits on the stoop between purity and anarchy. For me be bold break out of the mould shake it up even more add more Eastern twists and the harshness of punk, beng the secular Rev. who cares about music but not its straight-laced genre boundaries. Tears of Fires picks up the tempo and is the nearest to tip toe into punk style guitar and closing with I Wish I was In Heaven the steel guitar playing rules there is nothing on this album to really shake, rattle roll or shock the listener out of their blues complacency!
Hillybilly Zen-Punk Blues, for me needs to turn up the punk fill the gaps with Zen filled silence and shake it up so this is no Reverend in the shape of Gary Davis delivering Blues that shocks and delights.
Seven tracks are originals, they have a feel and hark back to licks riffs and ideas we have seen before this is music put through the sieve of time and that treated with a contemporary style, blues treated with irreverence.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- All I Got Is Now
- Angel$ of Mercy
- Its Gonna Be Alright (Rev Gary Davis)
- Keep On Trucking
- Moonlight Messages
- She Wants My Name (Hugh Pool)
- Soul Transforming Realization
- Tears of Fire
- I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down (Traditional)