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The ‘Rev’ brings intense show

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Jim Heath, also known as the Reverend Horton Heat, is passionate about his music.

He said he was playing a show in a hotel where he was separated from a disco-dance party only by temporary walls.

“When we weren’t playing as loud as we could, you could hear this silly-ass disco,” Heath said.

The Reverend Horton Heat + Split lip Rayfield
9 p.m.
Date: Wednesday
Place: Stones Throw, 304 Eau Claire St.
Cost: $15 in advance, $18 at the door

He said he became so frustrated that he walked off stage and into the kitchen. He found where the dance’s equipment was hooked up and carefully disabled it. He said he then walked into the disco room and got about 200 people to come listen to his band instead.

“You got to understand this is an all-out war against disco,” Heath said.

The Reverend Horton Heat will bring this intensity at 9 p.m. Wednesday, at Stones Throw, 304 Eau Claire St.

“(Reverend Horton Heat) is one of those bands that is still underground, but they’re huge underground,” said Nick Meyer, the Stones Throw’s co-booking and promotional manger.

He said tickets for its show in May of 2003 sold out in about two weeks. As of Friday, there were about 50 to 60 tickets left for this coming show.

Sally Velleux was bartending at the last show, and even though she hadn’t heard of the band before, she said she now considers herself a fan.

“It was pretty awesome,” she said. “He looked like a looming God-like creature.”

Velleux added he wore several different, crazy outfits during the gig.

Meyer said he also was impressed by the show.

“It was the most memorable thing I’ve seen on stage in Eau Claire,” he said.

The Reverend Horton Heat is a Dallas-based group that sounds like a country-flavored punkabilly band. Heath said the sound is like rock ‘n’ roll heavily influenced by early rockabilly bands, but that live shows can give the impression that the band is punk.

Heath said the crowd can expect to hear about six to seven songs off the band’s June release, “Revival,” as well as many songs from its other seven albums.

He said the band shies away from playing its slow songs live.

“You’ve got to keep the live show rocking all the way through,” Heath said.

“Revival” was recorded in the Deep Ellum part of Dallas, where Heath played his first gig, where the band was started in the early 90s and where it now practices.

Heath said the location helped with the album.

“It was a pretty good vibe,” he said.

Heath said the album features some challenging guitar techniques, such as “cross picking” something he refers to as the “Hurricane.”

He also mentioned that some of the slower songs are a little out of character for the band. “Someone in Heaven” is written for his mother who died recently.

Heath said Reverend Horton Heat is not afraid of songs being out of character, as it tries to keep songs varied.

“We try not to repeat ourselves,” he said.

The band is thinking about releasing a Christmas album.

“I’m not that against it, but not that for it, either,” Heath said.

Being a musician is about the music, Heath said, not about putting out albums.

“It’s not about recording tracks,” he said. “(The music is) way more spiritual than an album can ever be.”

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The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
The ‘Rev’ brings intense show