Photos and Review By LUIS MORENO
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is comprised of three innovative Indiana musicians who can make music on just about anything. Who would think you’d feel so compelled to stomp your feet and clap your hands to music made on cigar boxes and washboards?
But most importantly, the band plays some incredible country blues, whether it’s on a converted cigar box guitar or the washboard, which is something granny used to wash the clothes on.
The band members are Reverend Peyton who plays a range of guitars, “Washboard” Breezy Peyton on — you guessed it — the washboard, and Max Senteney on the drums, at least one of which comes in the form of a 5-gallon plastic bucket.
It’s not to say these DIY instruments don’t cause some issues from time to time.
Check out ‘Drum Bucket Problems’ here:
To say The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is a touring band is an understatement. They play more than 250 dates per year, including small venues like Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach to large festivals such as Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and Warped Tour in addition to many others.
I caught them Sunday night at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach. Saint Rocke is owned by the same guys that put together the great Beachlife Festival in Redondo Beach that enjoyed tremendous success in its inaugural year.
Check out Beachlife Fest coverage here:
The Reverend Peyton shows off his guitar chops by playing more than six or seven guitars or at least it felt like it. There’s plenty of finger-lickin’ picking and slide steel to fill a barn.
The Rev’s instruments range from a rusty 1930 steel-bodied National guitar, to his trusty 3-string cigar box guitar which he makes hum on a Charlie Patton song titled “Boll Weevil.” Patton is known as the father of the Delta blues and he would have been proud of this rendition of his beloved song.
The set started off with “You Can’t Steal My Shine” a song off their latest album, Poor Until Payday. It’s exactly how you’d imagine a modern country blues song to sound. Plenty of that slide steel guitar, with a drummin sound that keeps your feet at knee level only to pound the ground.
Toward the end of the set, Reverend Peyton played “Rounding up Girls,” which pays tribute to L.C. Ulmer, an American Delta Blues musician from south Mississippi. As the Reverend said, Ulmer would be 100 today if he was still alive.
For the last song of the night and like every great surprise to a story they close out making you feel like “We deserve a Happy Ending.” That about summarizes my evening with Reverend Peyton, Washboard Breezy and Max.
If you ever have a chance to catch The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band live, dig out a pair of your old overalls and stompin’ shoes. The band will make music out of the rest.