Roaring out of the southern Indiana foothills comes Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band playing a brand of Americana and Blues that stands alone – Delta blues and hillbilly fervor combine with musical acuity sharp as razor wire – best know, this trio is a force to be reckoned with. The growl of a good truck engine, the fiercest passion for his country home and family and an uncanny ability to breathe new life into old forms of music give them a pedigree many Americana acts would kill for and an ironclad work ethic keeps them on the road 250 dates a year, playing for the people with hurricane force. Locked in with an audience, the band create their own community and welcome the crowd into it, transporting them away from their troubles to joyous release, the way great musicians have done for centuries. The Rev. J. Peyton, his wife Breezy and Ben “Bird Dog” Bussell are a living breathing embodiment of the traditions and hard work ethic native to their Brown County, Indiana home. Their new album Between The Ditches is a chronicle of this lifestyle.
With a reputation for their incendiary live shows well established, The Big Damn Band set out to make the album that would finally capture the same heat. Recorded at White Arc Studio in Bloomington, Indiana, the album was produced by The Rev. Peyton and Paul Mahern (John Mellencamp, Iggy Pop), and mastered by Brian Lucey (Black Keys, Dr. John, Shins). For previous albums, the band had recorded live, straight through in the same mode as a live show. Between the Ditches came together more slowly, with care. “We approached it saying we were going to make a record this time, not just a recording,” explained the Rev. He used a different guitar set up on almost every track, employing two ’30s National guitars, a cigar box guitar, a custom shop Gibson flattop 1929 L2 and an Airline map electric guitar. The primary amps are custom Weber amps made by Weber speakers – both are one of a kind.
Their fifth album, Between The Ditchesfeatures a new level of craftmanship in both recording technique and songwriting. The Rev. feels that it’s their best album to date.”I’m very proud of this album, the songwriting and the playing.” The guitar playing alone should put the Rev. in the same class with his much revered idols. The songwriting boasts an added maturity and runs the gamut in subject matter from the barn burning, tongue in cheek, “Shut the Screen”, (where “It’s too dang hot and the bugs are too dang mean”) to the evils of strip mining, an issue close to the hearts of this Indiana born and bred band in, “Don’t Grind It Down”. There seems to be a theme expressed throughout the album and stated clearly in their first single,“Devils Look Like Angels”: “Devil don’t live down in hell, the devil’s right here doing very well”.
Rev Peyton’s first introduction to music was his father’s record collection of blues-oriented rock. At age 12 his father gave him a Kay brand guitar, eventually purchasing a Gorilla amplifier once he learned to play. And play he did. He became infatuated with pre-World War II country blues, and a desire to learn the fingerstyle picking of artists like Charlie Patton. Fingerstyle refers to using each of the right hand fingers independently in order to play the multiple parts of a musical arrangement that would normally be played by several band members. Bass, harmonic accompaniment, melody, and percussion can all be played simultaneously when playing fingerstyle.
Keith Richards has said that the first time he heard Robert Johnson’s recordings he asked “Who’s the other guy playing with him?” Of course there wasn’t one. When you listen to the songs on Between The Ditches you will be hard pressed to believe it is only one guitarist.
This band is fun sure, a lot of fun, but they are for real. From virtuoso musicianship to great songwriting, Between The Ditches has got it all. All from a little Brown County, Indiana band that’s got the nerve (and the right) to call themselves, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band!
This amazing tour delivers three of the most exciting roots/blues artists performing today. Critically acclaimed, award winning and chart topping these three acts all deliver the hardcore blues fan as well as the young blues fan as a result of cutting their teeth playing blues/rock to a new generation of blues fans in indie rock bars. Together they are the: The Big Damn Blues Revolution!
Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band is on the road 250 dates a year and they are a living breathing embodiment of the traditions and hard work ethic native to their Brown County, Indiana home. Their new album Between The Ditches is a chronicle of this lifestyle. With a reputation for their incendiary live shows well established, The Big Damn Band set out to make the album that would finally capture the same heat…and they’ve done just that. Produced by Reverend Peyton and Paul Mahern (John Mellencamp, Iggy Pop), and mastered by Brian Lucey (Black Keys, Dr. John, Shins) Between The Ditches sets the standard for the genre and debuted at #1 on the iTunes Blues Chart and #2 on the Billboard Blues Chart.
The late legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson once called Jimbo Mathus “the singing voice of Huck Finn.” Outside the South, Mathus is widely known as the ringleader of the hyper-ragtime outfit Squirrel Nut Zippers. In his native Mississippi and throughout the South, however, Mathus is the prolific songwriter of born-in-the-bone Southern music, the torchbearer for Deep South mythology and culture. Jimbo Mathus remains a rising-star powerhouse that feeds the soul. His latest band, The Tri-State Coalition, features solid talent cut from the same Delta cloth. Mathus describes Tri-State’s sound as “...a true Southern amalgam of blues, white country, soul and rock-n-roll. His new album, White Buffalo, has just been released on Fat Possum Records.
Alvin Youngblood Hart is a Grammy Award-winning bluesman who in 1996 made a powerful debut record, Big Mama's Door, playing slide and standard guitars and banjo on a mixture of old-school and new-grown blues. In 2003, Hart's album Down in the Alley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2005, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs of Stephen Foster. Hart was featured in the 2003 Wim Wenders film The Soul of a Man, which was featured in Martin Scorsese's film series The Blues. Hart was also featured in the documentary Last of the Mississippi Jukes.
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