Reverend Freakchild

Dial It In

(Floating Records)

An individual approach to roots music inspires this release. The guests include one of our favourite guitarists, Mark Karan of Bob Weir’s Ratdog ensemble and Tom Constanten’s Live Dead touring group. The Rev plays guitars including National Steel plus occasional harp and keys as well as singing on these mostly original numbers. The collection was recorded in Brooklyn, NY.

First cut Opus Earth sets off spacey, with rasping harp and reverse delay guitar lines and jungle sounds to form a downhome raggedy sound looking for a Southern documentary to accompany. Fans of R L Burnside might favour this ambience. A blend of elemental gospel and Depeche Mode is employed on Personal Jesus (On The Mainline), showing some imagination and slide prowess as the track grooves away. A shame The Sopranos has finished! Hippie Bluesman Blues is a chugging semi-spoken rolling Excello-tinged outing, peppered with Karan axe motifs. Title track Dial It In is a slowish snappy boogie, G Love on bv’s. Skyflower sounds much more purposeful, an airy song with a romantic vibe to it.

Roadtrance features the National on a spiky funk with an other-worldly mix of sustained and wah guitar parts making a cartoonish backdrop. Damaged Souls is gentler folk-rock with a much clearer vocal and a superior song evoking John Prine at times. On to 15 Going On 50 the ensemble rocks out like psych Billy Swan over tumbling piano by Brian Mitchell and short delay on the voice. The Dylan tune It’s Alright Ma is next and fuzzed guitar and deep sax adds to the charged desolation attained here, Bob’s voice is not imitated.

Soul Of A Man is all sprightly acoustic guitar and brush drumming, all very Guthrie. Closer Opus Space sounds like an Aboriginal party fuelled by substances, weird wobbly voices and all over relentless slide guitar. This skewed splintery country blues could hardly sound more removed from its place of origin..quite a curio.

Pete Sargeant


Reverend Freakchild's new album 'Dial It In' is out now on Floating Records.

For more information visit his official website here:

Reverend Freakchild