Artist: "The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band"
Album: "Big Damn Nation"
Label: Family Owned Records
Review: I saw these guys open for Flogging Molly last weekend, and I was totally blown away by how insanely awesome they were, so I wasted no time picking up their latest album from the merchandise table. This Big Damn Band consists of only three musicians: the Reverend Peyton himself finger plucking like a madman on guitar, his wife Breezy on the washboard and his brother Jayme on drums. And that's all they fucking need. Ol' Reverend Peyton showed the audience how he doesn't need a bass player, as he plays it himself with his thumb while his fingers do the plucking.
Their style can best be described as a super energetic rural blues, kind of a "farmer blues" if you will. Now I'm pretty ignorant as far as the blues go--I've got nothing against the genre at all and I often like what I hear well enough, but I know absolutely fuck all about it. But Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band has got me interested in checking out more, so I can see where they could be considered kind of a "gateway" band.
The first obvious thing that will stand out when you hear this album is Reverend Peyton's voice. He sings with this awesome and distinctive mumbly drawl where words are often half-pronounced or mispronounced altogether (and if I knew the first thing about the blues I could probably make a comparison here) to the point that if you don't concentrate it's almost unintelligible, but it just plain works. I find myself singing along in his style just because it's more fun that way. His guitar playing is also quite impressive--it seems hard to believe that he can get so much sound out of just one guitar. And I've also never heard a washboard contribute so much musically as it does here.
This music is so energetic and catchy it just makes me want to get off my ass and move. Check out the tracks "My Old Man Boogie", "My Soul To Keep" and particularly "Boom Chank" for good examples. If you ever get a chance to see these guys live, for the love of god, DO IT. It's an experience you will be damn glad you had. Failing that, you can at least listen to the album and enjoy them in the best alternate way available until they develop pop-up technology that actually stores the band inside the case with the cd.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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