April 13, 2009
The Reverend John DeLore
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
I would advise you never to underestimate the power of a pop chord progression. But when you’re listening to The Reverend John DeLore, you’re probably not qualifying anything anyway. You’re probably too busy drumming the steering wheel of your Chevy pickup, flying, windows down, across some prairie. Or if, like me, you’re stuck in front your computer in your apartment in Brooklyn, then put on his latest album Ode to an American Urn and you’ll be transported to said prairie real fast. The album is an arsenal of some of the catchiest hooks and lead riffs this side of Ryan Adams. And if you don’t like Ryan Adams, just hold out for the grittier ballads and love songs later in the album.
John straddles the line between old-timey country and blockbuster license-worthy pop, like they’re neighbors bordering the same Mississippi fence. The remarkable thing is, that unlike many who’ve tried this crossover and failed, The Reverend manages to perk your toe-tapping sensibilities without forsaking good lyricism. Deferring to his melodic tendencies, DeLore’s true message operates as an ode to the vast, desolate plains of the American west. The landscape is vivid with rattlesnake percussion, abandoned minor keys, and tumbleweed vocals. But not all of his work is as calm as the countryside. I had the pleasure of seeing The Reverend last Tuesday night at Mercury Lounge, and superb rock singles like “In’Shallah,” “Baby Teeth,” and “Everybody Loves You Just the Same” brought the house down, replete with face-melting guitar and dirty cymbals.
Do yourself a favor and check out The Reverend John DeLore on MySpace, or grab a sneak peek at these songs: “Everybody Loves You Just the Same,” “Jerusalem,” and “New Song for the Crossroads.” The Reverend kicks off his nationwide solo acoustic tour next week, April 22nd, at Rockwood Music Hall. I’m going to make it my business to be there because, above all else, his music just makes me feel so good.
by Drew Citron
An awesome DIY video of The Reverend John DeLore covering Leonard Cohen’s “Iodine”: