The Reverend Billy C. Wirtz – Sermon From Bethlehem
Reverend Billy C. Wirtz is a comic genius, gifted pianist and American musicologist who defies easy classification. The eclectic, wide-ranging subject matter of his songs, administered with sharp wit and biting satire, has fans rolling in the aisles during his manic live performances. Sermon From Bethlehem, released as a CD as well as a DVD, documents Billy live at his schizophrenic best, careening non-stop through a selection of old comic favorites ("Roberta", "Grandma VS The Crusher", etc.) and soon-to-be classics ("Female Problems", "Do The Toleration", etc.), as well as knocking out some of the smokin'est blues and boogie-woogie this side of Sunnyland Slim. The companion DVD has a significantly different program than the CD and includes an interview.
1. Introduction - 0:31 2. Rockin' with the Rev - 1:38 3. Sleeper Hold on Satan - 4:21 4. Cousin Cupcake's Got the Blues - 4:09 5. Do the Toleration - 2:45 6. Jerry Rig - 2:43 7. Female Problems - 5:16 8. The King & I - 3:35 9. Grandma vs. the Crusher - 3:49 10. Pipeliner Blues - 2:54 11. What I Used to Do All Night - 3:15 12. The Visitor - 3:42 13. Last Date - 1:39 14. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - 2:39
1. Blues Revue
"Brings the exuberance of an evening with the piano-playing funnyman into sharp relief. The DVD adds a handful of comedy bits and extended tunes that display Wirtz's madcap stage presence. A brief but interesting interview is alone worth the price of the disc."
2. AllMusic - Scott Yanow
Reverend Billy C. Wirtz's Sermon from Bethlehem (which was recorded at a live concert in Bethlehem, PA) is consistently hilarious. Wirtz's lyric writing and ability to put across his jokes make him seem like a rock & roll Dave Frishberg. Despite the religious allusions, Wirtz's subject matter ranges pretty wide, including toleration of others, a very witty allusion to his problems with women of all occupations, a tribute to his grandmother (who, according to the story, died while yelling at a televised wrestling show), and two songs that star Elvis Presley. A fine boogie-woogie and blues pianist and an excellent singer, Wirtz is quite entertaining and well worth discovering.
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