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Reverend Organdrum

Hi-Fi Stereo – 2008 (Yep Roc)

Reviewed by Ken Burke

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CDs by Reverend Organdrum

Reverend Horton Heat a.k.a. Jim Heath, along with Grammy-winning keyboardist Tim Alexander and drummer Todd Soesbe lays down jammy surfabilly blues, and tough movie themes galore on this mostly instrumental party disc.

Stax-Volt's Booker T & The MGs inspired this 18-song concept album, and their "Time is Tight" and "Can't Be Still" are ably covered here. Yet, Alexander's flexible work on the Hammond organ - which provides all the bass lines - Heath's Freddie King-meets-Dick Dale guitar attack and Soesbe's subtle hi-hat work embrace lounge and exotica more than soul. In the process, they achieve a fuller sound with fewer instruments.

Their approach happily transforms Duane Eddy's "Movin' and Groovin'" Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk," and Ray Charles's "I Got A Woman" into a danaceble amalgamation of rock, blues and Happy Hour at the Holiday Inn. So pervasive is the instrumental mood, that when Heath sings Dean Martin's "Ain't That A Kick in the Head," he sounds almost too hammy.

However, at its remarkable best, this smartly executed set cannily imbues movie themes - most notably "James Bond Theme," "A Shot in the Dark," and "Experiment in Terror" - with an ironic bite that is downright irresistible. Highly recommended. Best served with a highball and cocktail wieners.