What do you get when you put a washboard, a resonator guitar and a drum kit that includes a five-gallon bucket on stage together? The answer is Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. However, you could have answered with, “an almighty ruckus,” “one helluva unique sound” or “I don’t know and I’m afraid to find out.” Fear not, music lovers! It’s real, real good.
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is more like a big damn party at one damn tiny family reunion. There are only three members of the Big Damn Band and they are all related. Frontman of the group is Josh “The Reverend” Peyton, who sings in an old, quirky voice. It calls to mind a picture of the kind of hoedown Mark Twain would have attended if Mark Twain had attended hoedowns.
He also picks out the melody of the song on his guitar (usually a resonator) while often using his thumb to pluck out a bass line on the top strings.
Meanwhile, his wife Breezy Peyton plays washboard with an overwhelming amount of spirit and intensity. Rounding out the trio is the Reverend’s cousin, Aaron Persinger, who plays a drum kit featuring an upside down bucket. Naturally. The sound that emanates from the three family members is quite obviously interesting, but also quite a bit of fun.
Despite their newest album, which is a tribute to Charlie Patton, and an older Gospel album, the Big Damn Band is not a cover band. Most of their nine albums are made up of original songs, most seeped in history and just as relevant to our nation’s current social climate. But even when the content is heavy, the mood is kept light.Of course, even during their darkest of tunes, it’s hard not to smile at the sight of a washboard, a bucket and a towering Kentucky Colonel (seriously) playing a resonator.
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