It’s hard to describe something when you have no frame of reference, when you have no means of comparison. Such is the case with The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. When I wrote this review of the band’s latest release The Wages (SideOneDummy records) last week in the Washington Post, I was asked to name a couple of acts that the band might sound like. I was stumped. Because in The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, we may finally have found that one band in rock and roll who truly sounds like no one else.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn band consists The Rev on bottleneck slide guitar (his oldest guitar was made in 1935), his wife Washboard Breezy on the washboard, and his cousin Aaron “Cuz” Persinger on drums (and five gallon bucket). They hail from rural Brown County in Indiana. The Rev’s songs are all true stories; he writes about what he knows. So yes, his mother’s fried potatoes really are the best (“Your Mama’s Fried Potatoes”), a cousin really was on Cops (“Your Cousin’s on Cops”), and The Rev’s brother really did steal a chicken from a zoo (“Fort Wayne Zoo”).
When it comes to The Reverend Peyton and his songwriting, one thing matters above all else: melody. That’s why, as I wrote in my Washington Post review, it’s impossible to stay still at one of their shows. They play front porch, gather-round-and-dance blues with aplomb.Read More