What they are saying…..
Locked down, loaded and ready to rock ‘n’ roll
Brendan Keane. Wexford People
Earthy, biting rock songs growled in the good Reverend’s gnarled voice over dirty guitars and pounding drums!
Tony Cummings Crossrythyms
What can I say? Awesome! Total surprise. Don’t know what I expected but awesome! Not unlike Alabama 3
Lyrics production musicianship, wonderful world weary tongue in cheek feel.
Andy Scarcliffe. Premier Radio UK
If Elvis had ran a store front church it might have sounded something like this!
Clive Price Media.
Lonesome Highway review
Rev. Sam and the Outcasts Self-Titled Self Release
Sammy Horner is the creative source behind this album and he has been making consistently excellent music since his involvement with Scottish band, The Electrics, dating back to the 1980’s. Their Celtic Rock sound owed as much to the influence of Horslips, as it did to the Pogues and the band continues to play occasionally, dipping into an impressive back catalogue of releases. Sammy also has created quite a number of independent projects over the years, together with his ongoing activities in youth and Christian work. He has produced children’s albums and books, promoted music as integral to Celtic spirituality and involved himself in community-based congregation. Something of a renaissance man, he can look at a career that has spawned forty-plus releases to date and there are no signs of slowing down for this human dynamo.
This particular album has a gospel rock focus, under the alter ego of Reverend Sam. Horner is an ordained minister in real life so it’s a tongue-in-cheek approach and something of a parody. That’s not to diminish the music in any way however, it’s a rollercoaster ride of hard rock, some soulful blues and passionate performance. There are also two bonus tracks that are funky workouts of main tracks, In the Name Of the Father and Higher. The rocking groove of Blind Leading the Blind is a great example of the exciting arrangements here, with some superb guitar breaks and the swinging, You Are Loved You Are Accepted, grooves along with sweet harmonies and dusky vocal delivery from the Reverend.
Other tracks like There Endeth the Lesson and God Loves You Son are great examples of the tight ensemble playing, the latter including a female harmony that borrows from Sympathy For the Devil. Little Billy Got the Fever is a bluesy swamp-romp while Higher looks to hope of rising above the pressures of sin. Scars has the heavy presence of backwoods brethren and a life of struggle under the hands of cruel masters. It’s Friday Now But Sunday’s Comin’ is both vibrant and laced with a great groove, dynamic guitar, soulful background vocals, handclaps and sassy attitude.
It’s difficult to know exactly who plays on the tracks as the credits are given to – Rev. Sam (vocals), Brother James (guitars, bass and backing vocals), Brother David (organ) and Saint Boolean (drums). Superbly atmospheric backing vocals are supplied by the Bad Habits, and they are Sister Joy, Sister Rebecca, Brother Graham and Saint Nick!
No doubt, they al hide in plain sight … All songs were written by Rev. Sam and the album was recorded at Big Feet Studio in Wexford and the Monsterpop Music Factory in Glasgow. Thrilling stuff and played with both fervour and no hint of redemption in sight.
Review by Paul McGee