An Amen for The Reverend!
There’s no summer album more exciting than The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s Between The Ditches. Sexy, groovy, earnest and soulful, the three-piece blues outfit from Indiana demands attention and respect from the first second of the record. The revival of Americana, due to the popularity of groups like The Avett Brothers, is exactly what the music industry needs to wake up listeners. In this album, The Reverend and friends stomp out the sleepy dream-pop that currently dominates the indie scene. Between The Ditches is a celebration of the power of pure talent in a time when any Macbook owner thinks they’re a DJ.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is composed of The Reverend (Josh Peyton) on guitar, his wife Breezy on washboard, and his cousin Aaron on a five gallon plastic bucket-based drumkit. Already interested? Wait until you hear Rev’s growly, bottom-of-the-Delta deep voice. Though at first alarming, the combination feels like a mental filtration system. The Big Damn Band doesn’t hide behind effects or complex metaphors; what you hear is what you get. In “Something For Nothing,” The Reverend snarls his frustrations with modern life: “They don’t say anymore / That you get what you pay for / But everybody wants something / Nobody wanna pay nothing.” Grumbled between The Rev’s infallible fingerpicking technique and Aaron’s constant cymbal smashing, the chorus is a declaration that this band is the opposite of what “they” are.
A similar theme is expressed in “Shake ‘em Off Like Fleas”: “A change is coming / A change in store / Cuz there’s more of us than them / And we’ve freed ourselves before.” The lyrics beg to be chanted by a devoted, fist-pumping crowd, and one fan can be heard in the background shouting, “Shake ‘em off, Reverend!”
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is a twenty-year-old bourbon in a room of vodka Red Bulls and PBRs; vintage yet timeless, exciting and still welcoming thanks to lyrics like, “But when it’s my time I’ll be glad to go / If I were sure to know / You’d be on another shore/ But darlin’, I don’t know.” Both Mr. and Mrs. Peyton sing on “I Don’t Know.” A band of dancing, spirit and family? The Reverend and his Big Damn Band is a church for all. Hallelujah to that.