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Reverend Billy Wirtz

Rev. Billy C. Wirtz and Ronny Elliott Perform at Fogartyville

| Sande Caplin |

Adopting a persona that’s equal parts revival preacher, professional wrestler, social satirist and keyboard wizard, Reverend Billy C. Wirtz is unlike any other performer on the touring circuit. Ronny Elliott, the hillbilly soul singer from Tampa, reaches into the deep American well of rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues to bring a gritty brand of dark-hued story songs to the stage.

They can be heard every Friday from 3-5 p.m. on WMNF (88.5) on Rev. Billy’s Rhythm Revival.   The two will trade songs and accompany each other in this benefit for WSLR on Saturday, May 14 at 8pm at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court.  Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.  Advance tickets are available online at or at the WSLR studios.

A comic genius and American musicologist, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz blazes a trail across the country playing nightclubs, comedy clubs and performance art centers, bringing his First House of Polyester Worship services to legions of fans and new converts. Although by no means a straight-ahead blues player, much of his material is based in blues and classic R&B, and his sharp social commentaries, sprinkled with humorous observations about politics and life in 20th-century America, make Wirtz one of the most sought-after performers on the festival and club circuit. He’s also a featured columnist for Musician magazine.

Ronny Elliott was born in 1947.  Frequently referred to as a cult artist he has stories that he claims to be tired of telling. Elvis offered to teach him karate. He was assigned the lowly task of holding up Jimi’s Marshall cabinets in case he “whacked” them after opening the show. He has played on bills with Van Morrison, the Allman Brothers, Wilco, Sly & The Family Stone, Michael Bloomfield, Canned Heat, Steve Miller, NRBQ, Patti Smith, Pete Seeger, Steve Earle and lots of other folks that he looks up to. He has toured with Bo Diddley and Bill Haley and the Comets and backed Chuck Berry, the Coasters and Gene Vincent on tour.  photo from wslr / Billy Wirthz website

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