Dirty gospel

Rev. Vince Anderson
Dirty gospel

"I joke a lot," the Rev. Vince Anderson says on the Texas Barroom Revival live CD he cut last year with San Antonio's Boxcar Satan, "but I mean it.

That statement captures Anderson in a nutshell. For all the weird, satirical contortions that he puts Christianity through on original hymns like "Satan Hates You" and "Trying To Be An Asshole," you always sense that he means it.

A California native named after legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, Anderson is a classically-trained pianist who's been obsessed with religion for most of his life. As a kid, he worshiped at the altar of Christian lite-metal band Stryper, and he eventually became an ordained Universal Life Church minister, thanks to an ad that he discovered in the back of Rolling Stone magazine.

Rev. Vince Anderson
Boxcar Satan

Saturday, August 7
Taco Land
103 W. Grayson
Anderson decided his mission was to meet sin where it lived, in the smoky bars and taverns of New York. Founding an approach - and a record label - he dubbed "Dirty Gospel," Anderson has put his own gutter-rat spin on the Good Book. Submitted for your consideration is "Jesus Christ, Friend of Mine," in which Anderson depicts Christ not as a divine martyr, but "a mighty nice guy" who worked at the circus and "had a thing for the trapeze artists."

Blessed with elegant boogie-woogie piano chops and cursed/blessed with a sandpaper roar that would scare Tom Waits, Anderson wraps up a four-day Texas tour with a show at Taco Land, ably assisted by blooze-punk antichrists, Boxcar Satan. Once you get past the obvious joke of a reverend getting together with Satan, it'll be obvious that this is a musical match made in heaven. •

By Gilbert Garcia