Even if you're not familiar with the music of Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, you know that its members are a different breed the moment you start speaking with the band's charismatic leader. The Reverend's rural roots ring out loud and clear, something that he's proud of.
Don't be mistaken: he's no dumb hick. The Reverend is eloquent and well spoken, but his rural upbringing is obvious in his polite demeanor and southern charm that come across even in a phone interview.
On the other hand, don't let that demeanor fool you into thinking a show by the Big Damn Band is just another night of folk music. Once the music starts, the Reverend and his trio explode on stage. In fact, most people do a double take when they realize how much sound and energy come from the tight knit trio with the good Reverend on resonator guitar and vocals, wife Breezy Peyton on washboard and vocals, and distant cousin Aaron "Cuz" Persinger on drums and bucket.
The unlikely combination definitely draws on roots and folk music, but the combination of charisma, energy and great songwriting transcends folk or roots music, allowing the group to cross genres, touching on folk, blues and gospel and winning over fans of everything from country and Americana to indie-rock. After all, it's not often that you see a Dobro and washboard on the Vans Warped Tour, but after a brief two-week leg on the 2009 tour, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band was invited back for the full itinerary in 2010.
Although the band is used to playing large venues and cities, this weekend's show at Mercury Lounge is the best opportunity to see the band in its element.
Big Sound. The unlikely combination definitely draws on roots and folk music, but the combination of
charisma, energy and great songwriting transcends folk or roots music and into everything from country and
Americana to indie-rock.
"My favorite places to play are the smaller cities like Tulsa or Bloomington (Indiana)," Peyton said. "I just like them better than New York or Los Angeles, which are nice to visit, but they're just not who I am."
Having toured Europe as well as the United States with The Big Damn Band, Peyton has been exposed to a variety of different cultures and draws from his experience when writing his songs.
"I've been fortunate enough to travel and see and appreciate what kind of culture we have," he said. "You have to stand back and celebrate that -- and that's what I try to do.
As much as the songs stand up on their own, however, the live show is where the band truly shines.
"We know that people are spending their hard earned money to see us and respect that. We don't have an on off night," he said. "I've played with pneumonia, with a broken hand and even with a chemical burn in my eye for two weeks. We had shows booked, though, and people who had paid to see us and we weren't going to let them down."
If you've yet to experience Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band -- or even if you have -- the group's show at Mercury Lounge this Saturday night, Feb. 26, is your best opportunity to see what The Reverend is all about.
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