“At the end of the day, I like rock and roll that sounds a little dirty or at least loose and free,” Ty Thompson said last week as he geared up for the release party for the album “Reverend Bro Diddley and the Hips” on Sept. 14 at El-Rocko Lounge, 117 Whitaker St.
A longtime member of The Hypnotics, Thompson is well-known in the Savannah music community, and this new project builds on that band’s popularity and success during the last seven years.
“Reverend Bro Diddley is a moniker I chose forever ago after the dissolution of a psych rock group I fronted and wrote songs for out of Atlanta,” Thompson said. “The name pays tribute to one of my favorite artists, it pokes (playful) fun at a few institutions and cultures, but mostly it just makes me laugh every time I hear it or read it because of how absurd it is.”
“The Hips is an acknowledgment that me plus other people is better than me alone! I prefer to play in bands and bounce energy off other musicians.”
While The Hypnotics have no immediate plans for gigs, Thompson said that the band will play whenever it can and that his bandmates Ryan Sylvester and Ira Miller contributed mightily to the new record, which was recorded at Thompson’s house.
“One of my first memories is being kind of embarrassingly obsessed with Chuck Berry,” Thompson said when I asked about the 1950s and rockabilly vibe of some of his work.
But Reverend Bro Diddley has been influenced by other musicians and genres.
“I typically want at least an undercurrent of punk to exist in whatever I do,” Thompson said. “Punk is such an unnecessarily confused concept. I jive with the people who identify the Kinks as punks.
“I have a strong tendency towards poppy catchy stuff,” Thompson added, “but otherwise, I want to be in a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously and can break out something that’s psychedelic country one minute and grunge doo wop the next.”
“I also love spaghetti westerns and I do plan on making some pop spaghetti western music in the future.”
Thompson has played some solo gigs, but he is primarily invested in full band performances like the release party at El-Rocko this week.
“I’ve played a few shows solo and I like the sound of it more than I thought I would,” Thompson said. “But the experience of it is totally lackluster compared to going out with your best friends and changing the entire mood of a place!”
Thompson said that he already has additional songs for the band to learn but for now is excited to share the work from the new album.
Ford Natirboff, also formerly of The Hypnotics, will be opening the show with his new band Revelation Man.
“He’s a super talented dude and a very honest songwriter,” Thompson said of Natirboff.
The music should begin soon after 9 p.m.
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com) and hissing lawns (www.hissinglawns.com). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.