Reverend Freakchild

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Reverend Freakchild
Also known asFordham
Bhoomi Sparsha
Sal Paradise
Floyd Graves
Fleetwood
OriginHawaii
Genresblues, country blues, psychedelic blues, folk, country music
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active2001–present
LabelsTreated and Released Records
Associated actsHugh Pool
G. Love
Hazel Miller
Mark Karan
Melvin Seals

Reverend Freakchild is a Colorado-based musician, singer, and songwriter, known for writing and performing a distinct style of the blues incorporating elements of psychedelic music, country music, and the blues.

History[edit]

Reverend Freakchild grew up in the U.S. state of Hawaii and was exposed to music at an early age, as his mother was a classical pianist and his father loved blues music. He attended Northeastern University in Boston, where he earned a degree in philosophy and religion, but decided to pursue music full-time.

Freakchild played in an early version of the alternative rock band Soul Coughing. Afterwards, while in Boston, he formed the roots rock jam band Bananafish. Other musical groups Reverend Freakchild has performed with include the Neptune Ensemble, the Soul Miners, the Lucky Devils, and the Cosmic All-Stars. He also has been a featured soloist and member of the Metro Mass Gospel Choir, with which he has performed at major Manhattan venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Town Hall.[1]

The Rev made a Buddhist pilgrimage to India in 2012 with Zen master Bernie Glassman.

Recordings[edit]

Reverend Freakchild released his first full-length album, Blues & Spirituals, in 2001, and released his second album, Hymn Hustler, in February 2003.[2] In 2004, Freakchild released a collection of songs with the Cosmic All-Stars called Time Passes Strangely.[3]

In 2010, Freakchild released God Shaped Hole.[4] The album was generally well received by critics, with reviewer Ivan Nossa stating that the album is "like a garden with many flowers and every flower has its own beautiful color."[5] Critic Mike Wood noted that Freakchild "holds genuine gold in his heart, and when he listens to his muse fully, "God Shaped Hole" is compelling and raw..."[6]

In 2013, Chaos and Country Blues[7] was released. According to Freakchild, the album consists of "the stripped down blues sounds of love and death songs." The liner notes include a mock obituary of Freakchild written by Jon Sobel.[1] Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues[8] followed in 2015; Blues Blast Magazine stated "what of his music? Like Zen Buddhism, it's contemplative and esoteric, meant to empty one's mind of worries and fears and fill it with peace."[9]

Illogical Optimism was a 3-disc deluxe set released in 2016. Living Blues said about the album - "Reverend Freakchild is anything but reverent, rendering his unpredictable yet loving meld of blues, rock, and roots music with gusto."[10]

Preachin' Blues followed in 2017, reaching #24 on the Living Blues Charts for January 2017.[11] Of Preaching Blues, Living Blues noted "Freakchild grounds his singing and playing in an informed understanding of the blues and of the spirit while interjecting his own worldview of how human beings should live."[12] In 2018, Freakchild released Dial It In[13] to praise by Elmore Magazine - "they all get the body and soul moving—and smiling, since there’s a fair dose of humor in the songs, plus a spiritual bent, whether spiritual/gospel or spiritual/psychedelic."[14] No Depression notes "when I want something fresh, progressive, experimental yet still full of the Blues I will reach out for Reverend Freakchild and friends." This album featured the single "Dial It In!" with G. Love, Hugh Pool, and Hazel Miller.

Freakchild's next release - 2019's Road Dog Dharma[15] - was a collection of radio interviews and travel songs from around the USA. His latest release is The Bodhisattva Blues,[16] featuring Melvin Seals, Mark Karan, Robin Sylvester, Jay Collins, Hugh Pool, and Chris Parker.

Personal life[edit]

In an interview, Freakchild mentioned that he is a Buddhist but that he also considers music to be his religion. Freakchild states that the blues and Buddhism can both be seen as ways of confronting reality and the truth of human suffering.[1] He also holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Naropa University (2020).

Discography[edit]

Title Album details
Blues & Spirituals
  • Released: 21 April 2001
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Hymn Hustler
  • Released: 4 February 2003
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Time Passes Strangely (EP)
  • Released with the Cosmic All-Stars
  • Released: 28 September 2004
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
God Shaped Hole
  • Released: 21 August 2010
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Chaos And Country Blues
  • Released: 1 January 2013
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues
  • Released: 8 April 2015
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Illogical Optimism
  • Released: 1 June 2016
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Preachin' Blues
  • Released: 1 January 2017
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
Dial It In
  • Released: 17 March 2018
  • Label: Floating Records
Road Dog Dharma
  • Released: 21 April 2019
  • Label: Treated and Released Records
The Bodhisattva Blues
  • Released: 10 April 2020
  • Label: Treated and Released Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Limnios, Michael (20 November 2012). "Reverend Freakchild: Blues Buddha". Blues.Gr. Retrieved 20 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Reverend Freakchild: discography". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Time Passes Strangely". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "God Shaped Hole: Releases". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Nossa, Ivan (21 January 2011). "CD REVIEW: Reverend Freakchild - God shaped hole". The Muse's Muse. Retrieved 21 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Wood, Mike (10 May 2012). "Reverend Freakchild, "God Shaped Hole"". Foxy Digitalis. Retrieved 21 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Chaos and Country Blues". Amazon.com.
  8. ^ "Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues". Amazon.com.
  9. ^ "Blues Blast Magazine". Bluesblastmagazine.com.
  10. ^ "Living Blues Living Blues #244 Page 78". Digital.livingblues.com. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  11. ^ "Living Blues Radio Chart January 2017". Living Blues Magazine. 2017-02-07. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  12. ^ "Living Blues Living Blues #248 Page 54". Digital.livingblues.com. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  13. ^ "Dial It In". Amazon.com.
  14. ^ "Reverend Freakchild". Elmore Magazine. 2018-06-01. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  15. ^ "Road Dog Dharma". AllMusic.
  16. ^ "The Bodhisattva Blues". Amazon.com.

External links[edit]