Rootsy blues from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Reverend Peytons Big Damn Band.
Reverend Peytons Big Damn Band.

Headlining at The Grapes, Stranraer on August 22 is Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton, frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.

Bigger-than-life Peyton, has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.  

That passionate inspiration has made Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band America’s foremost country blues outfit and fuels the Rev’s new release, The Front Porch Sessions.

Peyton’s dazzling guitar mastery is equalled here by his knack for vivid, emotionally impactful songwriting, and his originals are matched in their authenticity by the deeply felt vintage blues tunes that he covers. The album showcases the Rev’s irrepressible personality while echoing the enduring spirit of such acoustic blues icons as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson etc.

The Front Porch Sessions maintains a potent level of intensity throughout, from the upbeat optimism of the album-opener, We Deserve a Happy Ending, to the blunt slice-of-life rural reality of One More Thing to the rollicking, playful swagger of Shakey Shirley.

Meanwhile, the instrumentals It’s All Night Long and Flying Squirrels demonstrate the Rev’s nimble, imaginative guitar work.

The Rev views the album as a personal creative milestone. He says, “The Big Damn Band is on there, but it’s mostly me. Breezy Peyton plays washboard on a couple of songs, and Maxwell Senteney plays a suitcase drum set that we put together in the studio. It’s a snapshot of the week we spent in the studio, but it also represents a lifetime of me building up to it.”

Show starts at 7pm.