Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
More Jeff Foxworthy than Victor Borge, R&B standup comic Reverend Billy C. Wirtz lampoons the double-wide culture while honoring the gospel and barrelhouse styles of our piano-banging forefathers: Big Maceo, Otis Spann, and especially Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Goateed, tattooed and with a flowing red mullet, Wirtz seems an unlikely spiritual shepherd -- one as comfortable mimicking Jimmy Swaggart as he is leading a rousing benediction with a mouthful of Wonder Bread. Never short on shtick or facial contortions (Wirtz used to incite wrestling fans as the manager for Diamond Dallas Page), the 51-year-old tickles the ivories like a man possessed. With a musical resumé that includes stints in Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band as well as Evan Johns and the H-Bombs, Wirtz sings odes to marital aids, lava lamps and the Waffle House. After a crippling bout of kidney stones, the good Reverend returns to the pulpit, tweaking Satan with songs of faith and inflammation. Can we get an "Amen"?
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.