The latest from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Between The Ditches on SideOneDummy Records is, in short, a revelation. An amazingly well crafted, controlled explosion of talent, the range and depth of the music performed by the trio is remarkable. It’s readily apparent, as with everything Big Damn Band, from live shows to covers of 80 year old tracks, that a lot of love that went into this recording… and it shows: you will be hooked from the first few bars. Without realizing it, you’ll have listened all the way through and will certainly be ready to hear it again.
The music references Hill Country Blues, Hoe Down, Blues, and more. Imagine the playing of Vince Gill, Whitey Johnson, James Blood Ulmer, and Ricky Skaggs all rolled into one person. There’s expert slide, finger picking, fine chording, and some mandolin too! All this from a man that at one point was told he wouldn’t be able to play again after an illness he endured and conquered. In listening to this album you will be hard pressed to believe that it is only one guitarist playing — something he enjoys pointing out at live shows. The other two members of the band are incredible as well. Peyton’s wife, Breezy, adds some fine vocals with just the right touch of “old time” feel, and she plays some mean washboard. Peyton describes (his cousin) drummer Arron Persinger as a “human metronome,” which he is in spades! In short: this band rocks, having toured on the Warped Tour, with Reverend Horton Heat, Derek Trucks, and Flogging Molly among others.
Between The Ditches is the fifth album from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band an craftsmanship shines throughout. The songwriting is great and the sound is spot on, adding an accessible immediacy to the recording. There are several standout tracks here. “Don’t Grind It Down” warns about mining and how it damages the land. “We’ll Get Through” has a that late 1968 Rolling Stones country twang to it. “Something For Nothing” has a great thumping beat, nice slide and good pickin’. The slow “Move Along Mister” has some fine guitar work and an almost spiritual hymn quality to it. “I Don’t Know” has finger picking that would make Lindsey Buckingham jealous! Peyton’s vocals have a very raw and earthy quality that suits these songs perfectly.
This album is a 48 minute visit into another world. It’s about great music, nurtured, and performed well. It’s authentic and unique at the same time. Hit “Play” and escape with the band for a bit. You will enjoy the ride.