Dial It In
Floating Records 2018
Review by David Bowling
Ain’t no Reverend like the Reverend Freakchild.
The good Reverend has returned with another album of the blues from his own, somewhat warped and irreverent, perspective. I don’t know if there is such a term as psychedelic blues, but his new release, Dial It In, would fit that approach.
The only thing traditional about his new album is his use of a number of mainstream musicians on a number of tracks. Guitarist Mark Karan (Bob Weir), harmonica player Garrett Dutton (G Love and Special Sauce), pianist Brian Mitchell (BB King), and saxophonist Jay Collins (Greg Allman) all bring a little sanity to the good Reverend’s vision of music.
While Freakchild may travel a different path; he is grounded in the blues.
The three cover tunes all move in different directions. Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” is a fusion of jazz and blues. Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus (On The Mainline)” is stripped to basics and re-emerges as a stark blues tune. “Soul Of A Man” is a rare emotional moment from the Reverend as he pays homage to the bluesman , Blind Willie Johnson.
“Opus Earth” and “Opus Space,” which bookend the album combine with “Roadtrance,” “Damaged Souls,” and “15 Going On 50” to present his own eclectic view of the world around him.
Dial It In and Reverend Freakchild requires some getting used too but his passion for the blues shines through. It may not be music for everyone but if you want a different experience, then this may be an album to try.