Kevin Winter, Getty Images 2 Chainz will be a busy man this summer. The rap titan…
- Posted on May 28th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
The partial team-up came during the Reverend's headlining set, as Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman cranked his Les Paul and played in a manner befitting of his western-style rockabilly shirt. Hickman ably kept pace with the Texas trio's flashy singer and string-bender, Jim "Rev. Horton Heat" Heath, whose speedy fretwork is often overshadowed by his band's hillbilly shtick.
"I need to take a break and clear my head," Heath said at the end of the song, effusively praising Cracker's songwriting and thanking the band for agreeing to this spring's package tour. He may have oversold his gratitude -- it's hard to imagine he and upright bassist Jimbo Wallace rocking Cracker's 'Euro-Trash Girl' on the tour bus -- but the Reverend has never had much use for subtlety. He's an old-school showman, a pomade-slick road dog whose default facial expression, a cheek-stretching half-wince, half-smile, reveals little in the way of genuine emotion.
Thursday night, Heath, Jimbo and drummer Paul Simmons were as professional as ever, zipping like cartoon hot rods through a string of old favorites, including 'Bails of Cocaine' and 'Psychobilly Freakout.' Toward the end of their lengthy performance, they played a mini-set of new material, foisting on the Highline's surprisingly sparse crowd five tunes from their recently released 10th studio album, 'Laughin' and Cryin' with the Reverend Horton Heat.'
Introducing 'Ain't No Saguaro in Texas,' Heath offered a quick botany lesson, explaining that, contrary to popular belief, the song's titular variety of cactus doesn't grow "within 1,000 miles" of his beloved Lone Star State. He elaborated further during the song, a souped-up country kicker the band saw fit to record with accordions.
Better still was 'Please Don't Take the Baby to the Liquor Store,' a self-explanatory little ditty whose lyrics Heath selflessly credited to Jimbo. It didn't have the grease-ball charge of encore standout 'Big Red Rocket of Love,' but it got to the core of the Reverend's gospel: punkabilly with yucks, from now until kingdom come. Amen.