Kool Kat of the Week: Getting Ready for a Rockabilly Rumble in Little 5 Points with Right Reverend Andy

For almost a decade, the Right Reverend Andy Hawley has been at the pulpit of Atlanta’s rockabilly revival as the DJ of Psychobilly Freakout (now airing Mondays from 8-10 p.m. on Garage 71 Internet radio and live at area events) and also for the many ‘billy events he has organized. This Saturday August 10, he’s hosting a Rumble in Little 5 Points at the Star Bar, long the temple of Atlanta’s rockabilly/psychobilly scene, with a great line-up headlined by Hi-Test and including Sonoramic CommandoAtomic BoogieJunior, Dolan & Cash and Grim Rooster, so we thought it’s high time we declare the minister of one of our favorite Retro musical styles Kool Kat of the Week

ATLRetro: What’s so special about Hi-Test and why does their return warrant a Rumble?

Rev Andy: Hi-Test is one of those bands that any other band would have a hard time following. Their music is in-your-face and when you listen it goes straight to your core. They put on one hell of a stage show and all four guys are incredibly talented musicians! If you’ve never seen Hi-Test, then you’re truly missing out.

What else is happening at The Rumble?

A: We’re also having an unofficial CD release for Sonoramic Commando’s new album HANG AROUND [Ed. note: Read Slim's Retro Review here], and you need to come early to catch the new punk country band Grim Rooster!

How did you discover rockabilly/psychobilly? And was there a key turning point when you decided to devote your life to keeping these Retro music styles alive?

I grew up with parents who listened to Elvis, Cash and all those old cats from the Sun Records days. When I hit high school, I stopped listening and began buying heavy metal albums. Toward my late twenties, I migrated back to what I grew up on and eventually went to my first local rockabilly show, which featured Sonoramic Commando. When I had the chance to start a ‘billy radio show, I grabbed the bull by the horns.

How did you become a Right Reverend?

It began as something fun I decided to do one afternoon. I came in to do my show at Album 88 (88.5FM) and told the DJ before my show went on I had become ordained through the Universal Life Church. Without prompting her, she ended her shift by saying, “Coming up next is Psychobilly Freakout with Reverend Andy!” Years later, Sully from daveFM would add the “Right” part to add some flourish. Now, I’m active outside the studio with my role as the high priest of rock ‘n’ roll getting folks deep fried and sanctified with the help of roots music!

Why Psychobilly Freakout?

This name (and song) encapsulated the theme for what I wanted my show to become. Honestly, it came down to naming it this or “Rockabilly Rebel,” after a Hillbilly Hellcats song. The program director for Album 88 wanted to differentiate my show from the country show, so I went with the Freakout. The first time I interviewed Jim Heath (Reverend Horton Heat), I told him I had named my show after one of his songs. He told me, “You better make it live up to the name,” and I think I have, eight years going.

For the uninitiated, what makes a great rockabilly and/or psychobilly band?

The band should capture your attention with their sound and stage presence. It may add to the stereotype, but they need to be dressed the part – no loafers on stage! A great rockabilly band should be sonically sound, know and love their songs, and avoid being “shoegazers” on stage. If someone wants to start a band, go watch and listen to Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, Billy Lee Riley, and figure out how their music speaks to you. Turn that sound into your own. Little Richard once told me, “Everything has already been done. You just have to pick something up and figure out how to make it your own.”

How long have you been doing your Monday night shows on Garage 71?

Last month marks three years on Garage 71, but my show has been around much longer. I started it on Album 88 in August of 2004, so the show has now been around 8 years! It had a brief stint on WREK (91.1FM) and as a podcast. No matter what, this is my show and I’m sure the name will be associated with me for years to come.

What are a few bands and performers who are exciting you now?

I’m really digging the sound of JD McPherson [Ed. note: Read our Retro Review of JD's latest album here]. Holy crap, this guy has captured the classic essence of rockabilly and jump blues, and he’s very exciting to watch perform! Check out King Sickabilly & His Full Moon Boys if you’re into Johnny Cash. His songs, even toned down, speak volumes. Exploring the past I’ve recently acquired a love for The Queers and The Cult. I don’t know how I let those two bands stay under my radar for so long. And if you don’t own any, go buy some Lone Wolf OMB and Ronnie Dawson right now!

You DJ regularly at Mon Cherie’s Rockabilly Lounge (bimonthly at Masquerade), her new Mad Lib-Ations (Thursdays at Corner Tavern in L5P)and many other of her events. How did you both meet each other and why do you enjoy working with her so much?

I believe a mutual friend had us meet a few years ago. When she began working on her first Rockabilly Lounge, said friend told her her event wouldn’t be complete without getting me involved. Since then, she and I have worked together on many events and you’re guaranteed a good time! If you can’t enjoy yourself at one of our shows, then you should be flogged.

What’s next for the Right Reverend Andy, i.e. what should our readers mark their calendars for?

I have a few more events in the works before the end of the year. I’m working on bringing Hillbilly Casino back to Atlanta, a Rocket 350 reunion, and one of the musicians I mentioned in this article will be playing Atlanta in November (his manager asked I not discuss details). I’m also collaborating on a book about rockabilly lifestyle from the past 60 years – this is in the very early stages. I’m lending my voice to the Left 4 Dead 2 video game – you’ll find me voicing multiple characters in some upcoming downloadable content! I’m a geek at heart, so hearing my voice in a video game is pretty darn cool! You’ll also find my own Website launching in the next couple of weeks so people can keep track of my new and ongoing projects.

Until the Website launches, keep up with Reverend Andy at rightrevandy.blogspot.com and twitter.com/revandy. All photos are courtesy of Andy Hawley.

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15 Responses to “Kool Kat of the Week: Getting Ready for a Rockabilly Rumble in Little 5 Points with Right Reverend Andy”


  1. Ed Selby
    on Aug 9th, 2012
    @ 4:10 pm

    And he’s an all ’round nice guy! Glad to see a write up for a deserving cool cat!


  2. This Week in Retro Atlanta, October 15-21, 2012 « ATLRetro
    on Oct 17th, 2012
    @ 3:54 pm

    [...] up your Monday night at 529 Bar in East Atlanta Village!  Reverend Andy Presents: A night of blues, swamp music, and Americana featuring Kool Kat Rod Hamdallah, Lone Wolf [...]


  3. Kool Kat of the Week: From Batman to Burlesque: Stormy Knight Plays Nice and Naughty at Mon Cherie’s Rockabilly Lounge « ATLRetro
    on Dec 13th, 2012
    @ 1:04 pm

    [...] Doors open at 9 p.m., The Sideburners (formerly Junior Dolan & Cash) are headlining, Reverend Andy will be spinning, free jello shots will fly, vendors such as East Atlanta’s Grease Monkeys [...]


  4. Kool Kat of the Week: Hooting, Hollyfesterin’ and Cockle-Doodle-Doom with Phil Stair of Grim Rooster « ATLRetro
    on Jan 31st, 2013
    @ 12:14 pm

    [...] year around the anniversary of The Day the Music Died, the Right Reverend Andy Hawley gathers some of Atlanta’s best rockabilly and neo-honkytonk talent at the Star Bar for a [...]


  5. Kool Kat of the Week: It Ain’t Rockabilly If You Don’t Have the Right Pair of Shoes; Talking Smart, Sassy and Southern with Miss Mason of Mon Cherie’s Rockabilly Lounge « ATLRetro
    on Feb 7th, 2013
    @ 8:28 am

    [...] debuting for the first time anywhere: Sunshine Divine. Wear your jitterbug’ shoes because The Right Reverend Andy will be spinning swing, rockabilly and psychobilly favorites. And that’s not to mention the [...]


  6. The Kool Kats’ Meow: Our ATLRetro Preview of the Third Annual Rockabilly Luau! « ATLRetro
    on Aug 1st, 2013
    @ 1:53 pm

    [...] As for the origins of “Psychobilly Freakout,” he told us “This name (and song) encapsulated the theme for what I wanted my show to become. Honestly, it came down to naming it this or “Rockabilly Rebel,” after a Hillbilly Hellcats song. The program director for Album 88 wanted to differentiate my show from the country show, so I went with the Freakout. The first time I interviewed Jim Heath (Reverend Horton Heat), I told him I had named my show after one of his songs. He told me, “You better make it live up to the name,” and I think I have, eight years going.” Read Rev. Andy’s full Kool Kat interview here. [...]


  7. This Week in Retro Atlanta, September 23-29, 2013 « ATLRetro
    on Sep 23rd, 2013
    @ 11:58 pm

    [...] 13th year, it promises to be ‘out of control’! So, head on up to Buford and say ‘hey’ to Kool Kat Right Reverend Andy Hawley of Psychobilly Freakout (Garage 71 Internet Radio). The event begins at 11 am, so come hell or high [...]


  8. This Week in Retro Atlanta Nov. 11-17, 2013 « ATLRetro
    on Nov 11th, 2013
    @ 8:52 am

    [...] with special guests zombie pin-up extraordinaire, Ghouella Deville, Circus Envy and the ever cool, Kool Kat Reverend Andy, DJ of Psychobilly Freakout on Garage 71 Internet Radio!  Discover your inner monster and get [...]


  9. This Week in Retro Atlanta, May 12-18, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on May 11th, 2014
    @ 9:50 pm

    [...] Count Bassie and Benny Goodman fix! Rev on down to Camelis Gourmet Pizza Joint for a night with Kool Kat Rev. Andy, broadcasting a little spitfire rockin’ rockabilly and psychobilly live on Garage71 Internet [...]


  10. This Week in Retro Atlanta, May 19-25, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on May 19th, 2014
    @ 9:06 pm

    [...] pre-show at 7:30 pm! Or rev on down for a rockabilly throw down at the Diesel Filling Station for Kool Kat Rev. Andy’s Rockabilly Ruckus event, that’ll have you dancin’ the night away to tunes from Elvis to [...]


  11. This Week in Retro Atlanta, June 9-15, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on Jun 8th, 2014
    @ 11:08 pm

    [...] on down to Camelis Gourmet Pizza Joint for a night with Kool Kat Rev. Andy, broadcasting a spitfire night of rockin’ rockabilly and psychobilly live on Garage71 Internet [...]


  12. This Week in Retro Atlanta, June 16-22, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on Jun 16th, 2014
    @ 7:44 pm

    [...] revved with Kool Kat Rev. Andy at his Rock ‘n’ Roll Riot at the Masquerade featuring the McPherson Struts slingin’ their [...]


  13. This Week in Retro Atlanta, July 14-20, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on Jul 13th, 2014
    @ 10:16 pm

    [...] on down to Camelis Gourmet Pizza Joint for “Psychobilly Freakout” and a night with Kool Kat Rev. Andy, broadcasting a spitfire night of rockin’ rockabilly and psychobilly live on Garage71 Internet [...]


  14. This Week in Retro Atlanta, August 11-17, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on Aug 10th, 2014
    @ 10:55 pm

    [...] Freakout” is delivered tonight to your ‘billy lusting ears at Camelis Gourmet Pizza Joint with Kool Kat Rev. Andy, broadcasting a spitfire night of rockin’ rockabilly and psychobilly live on Garage71 Internet [...]


  15. This Week in Retro Atlanta, Aug. 18-24, 2014 « ATLRetro
    on Aug 18th, 2014
    @ 5:58 am

    […] on down to the Masquerade and rock out with Kool Kat Rev. Andy as he presents, A Rock ‘N’ Roll Riot, featuring performances by Atomic Boogie, The Chameleon […]

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