Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Sound Band Gets to the Root of Americana; ALAN NICHOL CHATS TO REVEREND PEYTON WHO'S SERVING UP A BIG SLICE OF HANDMADE AMERICA AT THE CLUNY TONIGHT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Sound Band Gets to the Root of Americana; ALAN NICHOL CHATS TO REVEREND PEYTON WHO'S SERVING UP A BIG SLICE OF HANDMADE AMERICA AT THE CLUNY TONIGHT

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN NICHOL

HANDMADE, American music is what The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band produce.

It's a heart-felt, fired-up hybrid of rootsrockin' country blues - music with the bark still on it, you might say.

The rough-hewn approach is in-keeping with the best of the folk/blues/country music tradition that has been the bedrock of much of the continent's popular music for generations.

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band appear at The Cluny in Newcastle, tonight.

Reverend Peyton, the southern Indianabred singer-guitarist, is certainly a larger than life presence on stage and his trio - the Big Damn Band - have built a hard-earned reputation as a the living embodiment of a decades-old tradition that dates back to the work of RL Burnside and others before him.

Indeed, Peyton & Co was so inspired by the sounds of Mississippi that they would visit Clarksdale - the birthplace of dozens of bluesmen and a place which is synonymous with it - to witness the work of T-Model Ford and David "Honeyboy" Edwards, both of whom have now passed on.

In 2011, the band released an album comprised entirely of Charlie Patton songs.

The Peyton band features the main man on a series of 1930s-era National guitars and vocals, his wife, Washboard "Breezy" Peyton, and drummer Max Senteney.

The latter plays a scaled-down kit which includes an improvised plastic bucket (with some attachments), which has led the band to claim that they are the only band with a bucket endorsement. No pail imitators, obviously.

Earlier this year, they released their latest album The Front Porch Sessions (Family Owned Records/Thirty Tigers) of which the Rev Peyton said: "It started as a literal whim on my part, but it turned into something really special. I wanted it to feel like you're on my front porch. You can almost hear the wood creaking."

"I didn't have much planned when I went into the studio," the Reverend continues. "I went into the studio with some new songs and some old songs that I've always wanted to try.

"At first I thought, 'Well, maybe we'll make it a download or release a single.' But it took on a life of its own, and when it was all said and done, I was as proud of it as anything I've ever done. To me, it was a lesson in not over-thinking things - I just went in and let my gut guide me.

"We recorded this album at a studio called Farm Fresh, which is right down the street from my house. It's in the shade of the oldest poplar tree in Indiana, and there's a graveyard next to it and train tracks run across there.

"In fact, I think you can hear the train on one track on this record. The studio's in an old church, and the main sanctuary is the tracking room, so the haunting reverb that you hear is that room.

"We used a lot of vintage gear in the recording. I love that organic sound, and I'm always chasing that in everything I do. …

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