The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band will return to The Vogue Theater for its annual day-after-Thanksgiving show this year and, according to the Reverend himself, the band will unleash some songs that have never been performed live. These tracks will ultimately end up on the band’s forthcoming album.
“We’re always working on something new, even on tour,” said Peyton, speaking via phone from Austria, where the band was wrapping up a five-week European tour. “And we’re going to be playing some stuff at the Vogue that no one’s ever heard before.”
Peyton says the new album, which he hopes to begin recording sometime in December, represents a bit of a departure from the band’s blues-influenced, roots-rock sound.
“It’s going to be a more diverse record,” he said. “It’s still going to be the Big Damn Band, but I think people are going to be surprised when they hear it.”
Specifically, Peyton said he’s trying to take finger-style county guitar music to “different places” that people have never heard before. Beyond that, however, he declined to get more specific.
“We don’t want to give too much away,” he said.
Based in Brown County, the Big Damn Band have been touring and recording since 2003. After recording a few independently-produced CDs, the band were signed to L.A.-based SideOneDummy Records in 2008 and have since released three full-length albums on that label, the most recent being cover album of songs by blues legend Charlie Patton which were recorded on a single microphone for a more raw, authentic sound. Peyton said that his band plan to start recording the new album soon after their shows in Indianapolis (Friday) and Cincinnati, and that the recording process should take roughly one month.
With Peyton’s wife, Breezy, on the washboard, Aaron Persinger on drums, and the Reverend on guitar and vocals, the band have an altogether up-beat, homemade kind of blues sound. With the steel guitar providing lots of raw, loose notes, and the relatively simplified percussion provided by the washboard and Persinger’s modified drum-kit—which includes a plastic bucket—the band manages an infectiously gritty blues sound that takes the listener back to early 1900s Mississippi Delta.
According to Peyton, that sound translates surprisingly well to European audiences. This recent tour represents the BDB’s third European tour this year alone. In Serbia, specifically, he found entire crowds singing along to the words of his songs, though most of the fans couldn’t even speak English. Peyton said there just seems to be something about his personal, rural-life-inspired songwriting that resonates with people.
“Real, from-the-heart music played from the heart, with intensity, I don’t really think that has a border,” Peyton said.
Incidentally, Reverend Peyton is actually an ordained minister as well as a Kentucky Colonel, an honor bestowed upon select individuals by the Governor of Kentucky. “I collect titles like some people collect stamps,” he said.
The Dirt Daubers will open up for The Rev at this show.