About the Right Reverend...
photo by Chuck Donches ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Chris was born in Boston and raised in Philadelphia where he began studying Jazz at Settlement Music School under Denise Bruckno. While attending Springfield Township High School he started studying with Philly legend Eric Speigel while also learning the trumpet. After high school he moved to New Orleans where he attended Loyola University and University of New Orleans. He honed his piano skills formally studying with Michael Pellera and Ellis Marsalis. Blues pianist/organist Joe Krown took Rev under his wing and showed him the ins and outs of boogie woogie; allowing Chris to be his official sub for "New Olreans Piano Night" while Joe toured with Gatemouth Brown, Charlie Musselwhite and his own bands.
As a memeber of New Orleans funk/jam bands Brides of Jesus, Juice and Restless Natives he toured throughout the South and got a chance to open for, or share the stage with B.B. King, Widespread Panic, Ani Difranco, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Derek Trucks, George Porters JR and many other musical greats. When not touring he performed in modern improvised music with the Ted Hefko Quartet and the Bradford Truby Trio. He appears on recording by both these bands and the funk band Restless Natives.
He relocated to Philadelphia following a decade in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home. He brought that Big Easy style of relaxed fonky jazz piano that has made so many other New Orleans keyboardists extremely popular. He has performed in and around Philly as a solo, duo, trio or larger ensemble. He holds the keyboard chair in Roger Learnard Band, a popular bar band that performs originals and classic rock covers. He has a fusion band, the Courtesy Shuttle with Rich Curtis, bass; Davey Cope, guitar; and Tony Green, drums.
The Rev's personal pet project is the High Rollers.
About the High Rollers
In 2012 Rev Chris had already been performing as a duo called "DRUMS N KEYS" with drummer Chuck Lindsey. For a special outdoor festival event they put together a trio that focused on performing "Reefer Songs" of the 1920s. They had a few successful gigs and added Richard Redding on bari, soprano, tenor sax and recorder. This formation recorded a popular record "Viper Mad" that mixed a few originals and solo piano boogies in with the quartet's music. In fall of 2014 trumpeter Bart Miltenberger joined the group and they released a Christmas themed record "Everybody's Waiting for the Man with the Bag". In 2016 Richard Redding moved on and the band has been joined by Thomas Razler on sax and ventured into a new sound, while still throwing back to the fonky swing they came from.
Chuck Lindsey, drums and vocals, has been a Philadelphia staple for over 25 years. Numerous appearances at community concerts, nightclubs, bars and the Philadelphia Folk Festival have led to his being extremely on-demand for his laid-back “southern swing”. You can also find him driving the drum kit for the legendary band Beats Walkin’, the Mighty Rhythm Kings and the Delco Nightingales. In 2015 he co-founded an Americana band, Rootology, with Wannamaker Lewis, Arlyn Wolters, Larry Feldman and Larry Cohen.
Tony Garro, upright bass and vocals, has performed with the Scott Romig Band for over 20 years. He has gigged at many of Philadelphia’s current and past music venues with other bands such as Crazy Bread, Dodge City Junkies, Katie Drake and the Roger Learnard Band. He is the bass player with the Rusty Neils, a popular Neil Young tribute band. With Reverend Chris he has performed as a duo, trio, quartet and larger ensemble. He appears on Reverend Chris’s 2010 live album: “Fool On the Hill”.
Bart Miltenberger met Rev Chris at a house party and after they jammed on Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" he was asked to join the band. Eventually it was discovered that Chris spent his teenage years a huge fan of Bart's, now defunct, funk/hip-hop band Fathead. Bart, a student of the great Dennis Sandole (as was Rev's first jazz teacher - Eric Spiegel), is a superb improviser and song interpreter; never fearing going outside the changes for new and exciting sounds. He can be heard around Philly with the Fiives, Philly Blocco and other acts. He has natural chemistry with everyone he shares the bandstand with and "hopes to someday be a goat farmer".