Hey Guys and Gals, aren’t you tired of dull holiday parties? Trade in those mind-numbing office and family gatherings for a holiday event you won’t soon forget – Horton’s Holiday Hayride featuring the Godfather of psychobilly, the Reverend Horton Heat and country/blues/rock superstars Junior Brown, The Blasters and Big Sandy on Tuesday, December 19 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
Welcome to the lethal, littered landscape of Jim Heath’s imagination. True to his high evangelical calling, Jim is a Revelator, both revealing and reinterpreting the country-blues-rock roots of American music. Jim Heath and Jimbo Wallaceof Reverend Horton Heat have chewed up more road than the Google Maps drivers. For 25 Psychobilly years, they have blazed an indelible, unforgettable, and meteoric trail across the globe with their unique blend of musical virtuosity, legendary showmanship, and mythic imagery. Seeing Reverend Horton Heat live is a transformative experience. Flames come off the guitars. Heat singes your skin. There’s nothing like the primal tribal rock ‘n roll transfiguration of a Reverend Horton Heat show. Jim becomes a slicked-back 1950’s rock ‘n roll shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly, while Jimbo incinerates the Stand-Up Bass. Listening to the Reverend Horton Heat is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous into the hot-rod engine of your heart. From the High-Octane Spaghetti-Western Wall of Sound in “Big Sky” to the dark driving frenetic paranoia of “400 Bucks” to the brain-melting Western Psychedelic Garage purity of “Psychobilly Freakout” The Rev’s music is the perfect soundtrack to the Drive-In Movie of your life.
With his unique voice, more unique songwriting, and even more unique double-necked “Guit-Steel” guitar, there has absolutely never been ANYONE like Junior Brown. He’s an American Original. Born in 1952 in Cottonwood, Arizona, Junior Brown showed an affinity for music at an early age. Discovering a guitar in his grandparent’s attic, he spent his formative years woodshedding with records and the radio. As a young boy he was able to experience the thrill of performing before live audiences, getting the chance to sit in with Rock and Roll pioneer, Bo Diddley. Armed with this broad spectrum of influences, he began to develop a storehouse of musical chops. With many prominent figures as his inspiration (Country legends, some who he would work with years later), he spent his nights in small clubs across the southwest. With his writing coming together by the mid-Eighties, Brown upgraded his gear in a way that no artist had ever done. Struggling through each show, going back and forth plugging and unplugging guitar to steel guitar while singing, he had a dream one night about the two instruments mysteriously melding into one. The result was Brown’s unique invention, the “Guit-Steel”, a double-necked instrument combining standard guitar with steel guitar. The Guit-Steel allows Junior to switch instruments quickly in mid song while singing. This maturation coincided with the development of a completely “Junior Brown” style of songwriting which employs subtle dry wit to some songs – others can be more overtly humorous, or just plain dead serious; like his playing, there is a wide range of styles that when combined can only spell Junior Brown.
From early days growing up in the southeast Los Angeles suburb of Downey, California under the tutelage of T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner to their emergence as central figures in the eclectic LA punk/rock scene of the early ‘80s to their current status as internationally-renowned influences in their own right, the Blasters have spent their lives exploring and expressing the deep and diverse musical legacy that is best described by the title of their first album: American Music. A performance by today’s Blasters –vocalist-guitarist Phil Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman, bassist John Bazz, and guitarist Keith Wyatt – reflects influences that range from George Jones and Carl Perkins to Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown and Bo Diddley. Blasters shows have been described as “a cross between Creedence and the Clash,” with a display of passion and energy only deepened by decades of experience.
For 25 years, Big Sandy has toured continuously and become a torchbearer of American roots music. As a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and entertainer, Big Sandy has few contemporaries. Authenticity is the key to the music of Rockabilly Hall of Fame member and although he’s moved from rockabilly roots to a sound that encompasses folk, bluegrass, Western swing, Cajun, and mariachi influences, the Southern California-based performer continues to be faithful to the music of the past. Despite his connection with days gone by, Big Sandy maintains a foot in the present as well and with the recent release of What a Dream It’s Been, Big Sandy is at once acknowledging and celebrating the successes of the past 25 years, while setting the stage for further exploration of the musical forms he is most passionate about.