To try to describe seeing Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band live to the uninitiated is like trying to explain the finer points of Christianity to an atheist. If you haven’t heard them live, it is hard to find just the right words to capture their unique and invigorating sound.

Imagine a wall of sound coming at you like a freight train, a wailing guitar sliding between notes so fast that you can barely keep up and a drum set that sounds as if 17 people are playing it. Then the kicker a washboard being hammered like there’s no tomorrow.

Blasting through most of their new album, ‘The Whole Fam Damnily,” the band (comprised of Reverend Peyton on slide guitar and vocals, his wife ‘Washboard” Breezy Peyton on washboard and brother Jayme Peyton on drums) put on a great show at Water Street Music hall on Oct. 10. I caught up with Reverend Peyton and asked him some questions about their new album, ‘Life on the Road, and the importance of honesty in music.

How did the band get together and start touring?
We are all related, and my brother and I have been playing together since I was about 12. And we just started playing with Breezy, and one thing led to another and it kind of took out from underneath us.

Your newest release, the ‘Whole Fam Damnily” debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Blues charts. What was it like recording that?
We recorded that like we recorded everything. We recorded this one in an old church in Indiana. No overdubs or anything like that. We play it just like we would if you were to come out and see us at a show.

It wouldn’t be an interview if I didn’t ask about one of the songs on your new album. What is the story behind ‘Your Cousin’s on Cops”?
Well, it’s just like the song says. We were watching ‘Cops” and Breezy’s cousin was on there. We didn’t know she was going to be on there, she was just on there and that was the inspiration for the song.

Is it like that for most of your songs? Do you just wait for something to inspire you and then go with it?
Yeah, that’s the way I write songs. I don’t even make up a story or anything or think that this would make a good song. They are all about something that has happened to me an experience of mine or people I know. I just pull songs from stuff that I know and experience in my life. To be honest with you, I just feel that the more personal a song, the better the song comes out.

Who are some of your own personal influences?
The majority are the old heroes of country blues. Charlie Lewis, Mississippi John Hurt, Fred McDowell. Those guys are our biggest influences. And then there are song writers like John Grew Brown and Otis Gibs. I just like good songs, you know what I mean?

On stage you switch on and off between a few guitars. Is that because some songs just play better on certain guitars?
Each guitar is tuned different. So when I’m switching it’s to get a different tuning. I usually play three different tunings on stage. And it’s to basically switch between standard tune and different types of open tune for slide guitar. And each one does have its own different kind of sound so that does help to. It helps to change things up a bit during a show.

While we are talking about instruments, your wife, Breezy, really gives those washboards a beating. Just how many of these does she wear through on a tour?
Oh yeah. She wears a hole straight through them sometimes. We actually buy them in a bulk and we keep a few extras with us at all times because she smashes them.

Anything else you would like to say about the band, last words to the fans or about music in general?

We hope that in the next few months and years that we continue to keep getting better and we want to bring it every single night to every fan and give them the show that they paid for and deserved. I guess that’s just my goal. If there are five people out there or 5,000, I want to give every single person in the room the show they deserve.

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.



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