Published Thu, Dec 13, 2012 1:33 am Dateline
Rockabilly is one of those uniquely American music genres, born from the fusion of rhythm and blues with country music (known as hillbilly music in the mid-20th century).
Some 20 years after the heyday of rockabilly music, Jim Heath from Dallas, Texas, went to see the The Cramps, a New York-based revivalist rockabilly band with major punk sensibilities. The rest, as they say, is history.
Heath adopted the moniker Reverend Horton Heat and started his psychobilly trio, also known by the same name, in 1985.
Over the years, they have continued to bring their country-punk, high-octane roots music to new fans and their devoted cult following alike.
The band tours relentlessly and has earned the support of the underground psychobilly scene as well as mainstream critical acclaim.
It's hard to pin down what genre The Reverend Horton Heat actually occupy. They describe themselves as "corn-fed punkabilly" and often mix elements of country, surf, punk, big band and rockabilly, all played with ferocious intensity and usually at high-decibel levels.
Besides the non-stop tour schedule (150 shows a year), the band has sold over a million copies of their albums and have had their music featured in numerous television shows, video games, commercials and films.
Looking back on his long career, Jim "Reverend Horton" Heath stated, "I think it's cool we've lasted this long. People still come to see us play after all these years…It's amazing. I mean, I get to sing songs about cars I love, drinking and chasing girls. Beats the hell out of the alternative."
Although the live shows are known for their outstanding performances as well as outlandish on-stage antics, many devoted fans come to witness the band's acclaimed musicality.
The Reverend is considered a phenomenon, banging out his trademark "hurricane" licks on his orange Gretsch guitar. A few years back, the company honored Heath by issuing a Reverend Horton Heat signature model, the 6120RHH.
The Reverend Horton Heat returns to Marietta's Adelphia Music Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Athens-based band Hex Net opens the show at 8 p.m. sharp.