The rise and riser of the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is a well-told tale of adversity and perseverance. The Rev, a guitar player from age 12, had played throughout high school, but excruciating pain in his hands forced him away from music. A proper diagnosis led to an operation that removed the cysts/scar tissue causing the pain, and during his recuperation, he met Breezy. Bonding over their mutual Blues appreciation, they fell in love, she learned the washboard and they formed the Big Damn Band with Peyton’s brother Jayme behind the kit.
Since its formation, the Big Damn Band has notched some impressive resume bullet points. The band has recorded eight albums and an EP, played an average of 250 gigs a year, opened for a broad stylistic range of artists, from Clutch to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and appeared at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Warped Tour, Bonnaroo, South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. The trio has also gone from selling self-pressed CDs out of its van to signing with indie Punk label SideOneDummy to winding up on prestigious Blues imprint Yazoo for its latest album, last year’s So Delicious.
In other news, the Rev is a Kentucky Colonel, the band’s music has been used on the Showtime series Shameless and because new drummer Max Senteney has a plastic pail in his percussional array, the band has an endorsement from a bucket company.
Considering the breadth of his accomplishments over the past decade and a half, Reverend Peyton is clearly up for any new challenge that comes his way, and his latest is serving as central Indiana’s version of Dear Abby. Earlier this year, the Reverend unveiled Big Damn Advice, a regular advice column that appears in NUVO, the Indianapolis alternative weekly newspaper; his first question was about how he stays fit on the road without expensive gym memberships. And the band recently announced the launch of their first podcast, Hard Times & Weirdness, featuring the Reverend’s always-compelling road stories and so much more (check bigdamnband.com for details).
As always, the absolute best way to experience The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band isn’t in print or online, it’s right in front of your human face. See them and be transformed.
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