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"A ticket to a traveling show..."

“ The Soap Box Ep is a ticket to a traveling show that conjures the old-school style of ancient Speak Easies and the traveling circus of life. The title song, Soap Box is a writhing tale of spirituality gone awry and reminds us that God lives in the space between you and me…with harrowing violins and doomsday drumbeats, we are called upon to listen to the message of The Reverend Shine: Gather ‘round my Soap Box…
Heretic mixes seductive gypsy-like guitar and wails the collective doubts and personal failures behind humankind—We will never learn, when will we see? Like Baldwin wrestling with Old School notions of storefront churches and our general shortcomings, Heretic reminds us of the sanctity of personal struggle.
But what is it more that is being preached from this Soap Box? The personal reckoning of an individual not only exiled in Another Country, but that of human beings, exiled in this state of life. Intuition leads me back to your arms…what is it to belong? Turning Snake Oil into healing balm captures the magic of experiencing what is deemed useless to something indispensible: I miss Summer, Winter’s far too profound…
Birthday Suit is the lament of a man attempting, with a backdrop of haunting, pleading harmonica rhythms, to understand the existential existence of us all— I must try again, to undress in the light--with all its connotations coupled with the backdrop of accompanying songs is a fitting hat tip to the father of existentialism himself, borne out of the very land he too had once tread: Kierkegaard.

Hanging his soul bare, the Reverend invites you to gather ‘round his Soap Box, and the message is all too fitting for our times: that we are, in the end, responsible for our own actions and that what we choose to do with this freedom is, ultimately, up to us.”

- Blackgirl on Mars





From the brothel to the pulpit

The true origins of REVEREND SHINE SNAKE OIL Co. are shrouded in hearsay and conjecture. Suffice to say that the man who calls himself the “Bowery Barometer” is form New York via Freetown, Sierra Leone. Born into the church but raised in the streets, he is at ease with both prostitutes and clergy alike, and he never misses an opportunity to mention how fond he is of both.

These classic conflicts play themselves out on the stage. And, like any good story, there are heroes and villains. But his characters aren’t so neat. They do not fit into a box. They are the epitome of paradox. Like the name it self, REVEREND SHINE SNAKE OIL Co. recognizes the futility in assigning blame to the frustrations and problems of the world. Rather they play the role of the court jester or the fool, who use sarcasm and wit to uncover what we all know to be true.

REVEREND SHINE SNAKE OIL Co. is a salute to Advertising and Commercialism, raised together like traveling horse and buggy teams, peddling miracle medications and other sundries… sarcastic and sentimental, agitated and serene, combining elements of Swing, Rock-steady and Rhythm & Blues, woven together by folk-tales and sermons… converging seemingly disparate genres into a single curbstone philosophy… a throwback to the Negro spirituals and the American folk tradition.

Come see the medicine show and drink of the balm that is known to cure disease, smooth facial wrinkles, remove stains in clothing and prolong life.