Rev. Billy Wirtz
Eller Soul Records 2016
Review by David Bowling
And now…from the Church of the Polyester, the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz has assumed the pulpit and called the congregation to order. Can you say amen? Amen!
Wirtz is basically a musical comedian who is now almost 40 years into his career. He has just released his 12th album titled Full Circle. He has assumed many persona’s during the course of his career but his Reverend moniker and his First Church Of Polyester And Horizontal Throbbing Teenage Desire is his most controversial.
His musical approach is right out of the Jerry Lee Lewis school of music, complete with pumping piano. He makes a wise decision to use the classic roots group, The Nighthawks, as his backing band. They tend to suppress his wildest tendencies and keep at least his music somewhat under control. Still, it is a wild ride through the 15 tracks.
It is the lyrics and stories that set him apart. They tread the line between bad taste and humorous. Songs such as “Mennonite Surf Party,” “Mama Was A Deadhead,” “Daddy Was A Sensitive Guy,” “Rockin’ Up To Gloryland,” and “Daddy Passed Away” are examples of his brand of humor. Many comedians would use this material in a stand-up act but Wirtz is different as he presents them is a rock and roll format.
The re-action to his music depends on a person’s sense of humor and ethical code. It is not an album for the faint of heart but if you have a propensity for the odd, ribald, and unique encased in a retro rock and roll style, than the Rev. Billy Wirtz wailing away in his First Church Of The Polyester may be an album for you.
Can you say Amen!