Album Reviews

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Artist:     Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Album:     Front Porch Sessions

Label:     Family Owned Records

Release Date:     03/10/2017

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If your ears stumbled upon Front Porch Sessions, you would think you’re listening to  vintage country blues, dusted off and re-released on a modern format. The rawness of this album and the uniqueness of Indiana-bred singer/guitarist Reverend Peyton create a passionate blend of songs that whisk you back to decades ago.

“We Deserve a Happy Ending” celebrates the stripped-down album. Tambourines, clapping, singing along. The intro track invites passersby up onto Reverend Peyton’s own porch for an afternoon of making music together.

Each song tells a story in classic blues stylings, and the band encourages audience participation. “Shakey Shirley” causes your fingers to snap as you join the trio of musicians who make up this band. Listen to “Flying Squirrels” with your eyes closed and you’ll picture a banjo in your hands. Is your head bobbing too? Perfect. “When My Baby Left Me” sounds like a bootleg; someone sat in the back of the bar to record this song and play it later for all of their friends because it’s that good. The predominantly instrumental “One Bad Shoe” gets everyone on the dance floor once more before the night ends.

Reverend Peyton didn’t have much planned when he went into Farm Fresh studio, down the street from his house, to record this album. New songs, old songs he wanted to try, and listening to gut feelings without over thinking anything are the elements of Front Porch Sessions. Released just before spring, when the windows can be open in the kitchen or the car, drinks can be had on your own front porch, and music can be played as the breeze moves along in the background. It’s just what we need.

—Brenda Hillega

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