D’Astolfo: The Rev. Horton Heat Was on Fire

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will unveil the nominees for the class of 2020 on Oct. 15. 

I’m not sure who will get nods this year but might I suggest the Rev. Horton Heat?

A founding father of rockabilly, the good reverend – his real name is Jim Heath –  plays a brand of the genre that is a direct descendant of its roots. He might just be the roots.

Heat came to Westside Bowl last week and fairly blew away the room. 

The Texas native and his two-piece band (upright bass and a drummer) came out looking humble. Heat looked almost like a wedding band singer in the Lone Star State, clad in a buttoned up white short-sleeved shirt. 

But when he started to play, it was clear ne was tapping into the pure and clear heart of rockabilly-psychobilly.

Heat, 60, plays a gigantic guitar in a way that is rowdy and rollicking but still precise. And countless rockabilly cats have modeled themselves after Jimbo Wallace, the sneaker-clad veteran who plays a mean slap bass.

Drummer RJ Contreras joined the band last year, continuing a long career that has seen him in play in just about every genre, including jazz and disco.

So every member of the band is hall of fame material – even Lance Lipinsky, whom Heat brought on stage to play the second half of the show.

Lipinsky – of course, another Texan – is a Broadway performer who played Jerry Lee Lewis in the Chicago production of “Million Dollar Quartet,” the jukebox musical about a legendary 1956 recording session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Lewis.

With a big poof of 1950s greaser hair, Lipinsky showed his keyboard who’s boss, banging on it and leaning it over like The Killer used to do.

Rev. Horton Heat released his 12th and latest album, “Whole New Life,” last year.

His debut album came out in 1990, so The Rev is eligible for Rock Hall membership (to be considered, one must be a recording artist for at least 25 years).

Rev. Horton Heat has never been nominated for the Rock Hall. Could this be the year? Stranger things have happened, and he definitely deserves it.

Youngstown Film Festival Is Saturday

The inaugural Youngstown Independent Film Festival will take place Oct. 12 from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Cinemark Tinseltown in Boardman.

It will feature movies and shorts submitted by filmmakers from across the globe via the internet to No Label Productions, a film production company owned by Youngstown native John Martin Jr.

Martin is the producer of the festival. His short film, “Cops or Robbers,” will be among the works shown.

The YIFF will screen films in three blocks blocks. For ticket pricing and the schedule, check out  No Label Productions’ website, or go to FilmFreeway.com.

Filmmakers who will be in attendance include Hubbard native Tom Morris, of California, who will screen his film, “Blowing Up Right Now,” which won Best International Feature-Dramatic at the Edmonton (Canada) International Film Festival.

Video Game Competition at Kent-Trumbull Campus

More than 50 participants, representing 12 local schools, will vie for the Valley Cup on Saturday at Kent State Trumbull.

The competition begins at 10 a.m. in the Thunderdome Arena, located in the Technology Building at the campus, 4314 Mahoning Ave. NW in Champion Township. The event is sponsored by Kent Trumbull’s Esports team.

Teams and individuals will compete in the games Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros., League of Legends and Madden 20.

Participants must be in high school. To register, go to bit.ly/rally4thevalley or just show up at 9 a.m. the day of the event. The fee is $5 per person.

For information, call Bill Burgess at 330 412 7490.

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