He may not look like Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhoads, but this dude is a legit guitar hero. Not only is Kenny Petrie the elder statesman of Mr. Spanky and the Hipthrusters, but he’s also a Catholic priest.

As Christmas approached, this video of a band covering Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream” started making its way around the internet. The man holding his guitar may seem unassuming at first, but once he lets loose, Father Kenneth Petrie puts on an absolute shred clinic.

On Mr. Spanky and the Hipthrusters’ website, the band describes how they came to recruit Petrie as their lead shredder:

Approaching the Catholic Church in Braintree, Martin and Tont could hear the unmistakable sound of choir practice….but with a difference. Behind a glorious rendition of Amazing Grace they could hear fantastic licks, picking and soloing on an electric guitar. After listening to such hits as “Kumbaya” and “Jerusalem” Mr Naylor took one look at the others, who both nodded in agreement. They’d found their man, Father Kenneth Petrie, or as we know him, The Right Reverend Kenny. All it took to secure his services was a small commitment to attend Mass for a month and never to convert to any other beliefs. The rest as they say……is History.

Petrie’s technical abilities behind an axe are impressive, but what guitar aficionados will truly appreciate is the man’s style. His legato is on par with Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray, while his penchant for remaining in complete control over manic, freight train solos can be compared to Zakk Wylde.

Maybe refrain from raising your horns for Father Petrie, but definitely bang your head and rock out to the good Father’s sick Catho-licks!

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