Thursday, November 24, 2005
Ask Reverend Deadeye about his persona, and he doesn't understand what you're talking about.
Reverend Deadeye, the blues and rock 'n' roll preacher who sings into a rusty beer can microphone and plays a wok lid guitar, is not a creation. He is just another name for the Denver-based musician Brent Burkhart.
¤ American Relay with Reverend Deadeye
¤ 10 p.m. Saturday
¤ Levelz in Ski Time Square
¤ Cost TBA
"Reverend Deadeye, I didn't invent him," he said. "I have a dead eye (from a childhood snake bite) and I am a reverend. It's me."
Talk to Burkhart / Deadeye long enough, and you believe it.
Reverend Deadeye is the on-stage manifestation of the boy who grew up watching his Pentecostal preacher father leading tent revivals.
While shouting "Amen" and "ye shalt" and "repent sinners," the Reverend begins to sound like a traveling preacher from the turn of the century, passing through town along with the snake oil medicine show.
His shows are a distorted, bar room version of those childhood tent revivals.
Reverend Deadeye is the product and the rebellion of that strict home where no music was allowed but gospel and drinking was forbidden.
Between slide guitar Delta blues songs, Deadeye preaches the redemption that someone can find at the bottom of the bottle.
"Certain sects of Christianity believe that alcohol is devil water," he said. "In that same sect of religion, they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and act like they'd been drinking for days, good and solid.
"Growing up, that was natural to me, but when I started seeing things outside of the church, when I started seeing people drinking, it reminded me of the church I went to.
"I truly believe there's something to be said about the lord at the bottom of the bottle and what you find when you drink that last bit of alcohol. There's something spiritual about that."
Deadeye pairs his Jack Daniels hellfire and brimstone with his own music that was inspired by blues and by the old gospel records of his youth.
"My songs are sort of a way to get people filled with the spirit," he said. "I want people having a good time with the music."
Reverend Deadeye is sharing the bill this weekend with American Relay, a duo that frequents Steamboat Springs stages.