Reverend Organ Drum
Hi-Fi Stereo (Yep Roc)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Feb. 15, 2008
Reverend Organ DrumHi-Fi Stereo (Yep Roc)
The Rev. Jim Heath has returned to testify. Alongside Asleep at the Wheel's Tim Alexander on Hammond organ and percussionist Todd Soesbe, the Horton Heat frontman redefines the power trio with Hi-Fi Stereo, an hourlong, mostly instrumental collection of covers that spans Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" to Duke Ellington's swinging "C Jam Blues." Taking cues from Booker T. & the MGs, Hi-Fi Stereo tests the waters through a triplet of psychedelic soundtrack staples ("Theme to Route 66," "A Shot in the Dark," "James Bond Theme") before signaling It's Martini Time on the lounging "Bim Bam Baby." If anything, the trio's too ambitious in its vintage scope, falling a bit flat during the funeral procession of "Black and Crazy Blues," but those moments are overshadowed by the guitar-organ spaghetti Western-style showdown in "Hang 'Em High" and psychobilly freak-out "Moovin' and Groovin'." Now can I get an amen?