It was a small crowd at Darwin’s. in Marietta GA After all, it was Tuesday night. But Katie Martin and Rev. Freakchild didn’t seem to mind.
Martin opened with a great set that included her haunting version of “:St. James Infirmary” and several other covers as well as some mesmerizing original material from her recent album, Purpose. Katie combines looping technology with hr amazing acoustic guitar to create a very effective blend of traditional and modern, and she has a beautiful voice. It was a great start to the evening.
Then Rev. Freakchild took to the stage. Some people were, I think, surprised that it was just him, with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and no band. But that was all he needed. The first couple of songs were very traditional. He dedicated “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” to the Orlando victims and followed that up with “Jesus Make My Dying Bed.” But then he probably surprised some more people,who had not heard of him before or read this writer’s review of his Illogical Optimism,, when he played a blues version of Prince’s “kiss,” but some of us were delighted. The evening continued that way, with a mix of traditional (“Little Red Rooster,” ) and non-traditional (“Friend of the Devil,” “Angel,”), all with Freakchild’s unique spin.
it’s possible Darwin’s has never had a relaxed Buddhist blues player who talks about Dharma and Jesus in between songs or who plays and sings quite the Rev. does. It’s surprising and different and I wish more people had come out, because it’s good to experience music you don’t expect and you may just find you really enjoy it, as most of the people at Darwin’s last night did. A couple said, “That wasn’t what I expected,” in a bemused sort of way. I thought, “Isn’t that a good thing?”
Next time the Rev. Freakchild is in your town, go hear him. Decide for yourself.if he’s for you. Personally, this writer loved everything about the show and can’t wait to hear more of the Rev. Here;s hoping Rev, Freakchild comes back around soon.