“We’ve been doing this thing for quite a number of years, where we learn other guys’ songs and have them sit in right in the middle of our set,” reflects Dallas’ Jim Heath, the titular Reverend Horton Heat of the legendary psychobilly kings.
The guitarist, 56, speaking of his group’s annual Horton’s Hayride – staged the past three years in Los Angeles – continues.
“It’s been a blast. Doing this makes us better and more versatile as musicians. We’ve done this with Lemmy from Motörhead, Unknown Hinson, Rosie Flores, and the Stray Cats’ rhythm section, Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker. That’s turned into us having a six-night stand on the Continental gig.
“This residency is a culmination of years of us being a backup band!”
To commemorate the quarter-century anniversary of the Reverend’s first appearance at the South Congress speakeasy, his Texas trio embeds for six nights, two performances apiece from Jello Biafra performing Dead Kennedys songs, venerable Zeros co-founder Robert Lopez Latinizing songs made famous by the King (or rather El Rey) in his El Vez guise, and next weekend, guitar wizard Deke Dickerson. Opening acts comprise a “History of Jim Heath,” ranging from locals who’ve shared myriad bills with the headliners, like Barfield (Oct. 25) to a special reunion next Friday of Teddy & the Talltops, the early-Eighties Big D rockabilly act that spawned Heath, Homer Henderson, and venerable Austin honky-tonker Ted Roddy.
Heath and Roddy are both Corpus Christi natives who connected when the latter played Little Walter songs the younger Heath thought only he knew in a Seventies blues-rock act.
“Getting to play with all these guys is a real heartfelt thing,” enthuses Heath.– Tim Stegall