The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
“Between The Ditches
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is comprised of The Reverend Peyton on slide guitars, mandolin,vocals and harmonica. Washboard Breezy Peyton is on, yep, the washboard, percussion and backing vocals. Aaron “Cuz” Persinger works on bucket, drums, percussion and just plain hollering. All the tunes were written by the Reverend and the album was also produced by the Rev and Paul Mahern at Mahern’s, White Arc Studios in Bloomigton, Indiana.
“Between The Ditches” is a roaring product that jumps out fast & furious and never stops driving forward. Peyton’s lyrical approach is just as rapid as his playing; he gives no quarter to the subject he is writing about. Peyton’s deliveries with his vocals are as unique as his playing, they are meant to be rough and mesh well with his style of playing. Peyton makes mention of his luthier on the cover and I can hear where and why that was published, he lays into his instrument on each track with abandon producing a very cool and big damned sound.
Peyton’s vision for this work is clear; he is here to get your attention and your toe tapping. This isn’t the straight ahead blues work that accompanies many blues players. There is a quality in the work that reminds me of early rock attempts by Blue Oyster Cult and other late 60’s rock groups to communicate their feeling for the art form. Peyton cements the feeling down and honed his own vision.
One of the aspects that just jumps off the product is the backing rhythms and beats, they drive as hard as Peyton’s playing. I also really like how the backing vocals were placed in the mix to augment the feeling of some of the tracks. The vocals parts are as complex and as important as any of the guitar work or percussion.
There is a propensity in the listener to feel that the cuts could be a continuum of the previous track, but Peyton distinctively finds another vibe on his guitar that leads the listener to another place. Sometimes his lyrical content can get a bit lost, but he tends to augment what is really important to the tune or what he is attempting to communicate to his audience.
Peyton has a playfulness to this work that serves it well. I have a feeling this is a serious artist that takes it all a bit tongue in cheek. Peyton isn’t selling anything; he’s conveying a message with an intensity rarely found in many blues projects. What is astounding is his commitment to each track and the energy used to accomplish the final work. From the down beat this product drives like a teenager set free in the family car for their first drive on the open road.
If you like the blues and monster slide guitar work this is a must listen. The work is serious blues with a huge helping of playfulness that sometimes diverges into a bluegrass feel or a straight-ahead rock feel. What impresses me the most in the listen is the clarity found in all that is happening in the production. Peyton certainly approached this work with vision and remained true to it.
Simply a great listen with very cool playing and well crafted tunes.
[Christopher Brant Anderson]