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The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Hogslop String Band, Thorp Jenson

Wed · November 15, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00

This event is 18 and over

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.

bigdamnbandwoodThat passionate inspiration has made Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band America’s foremost country blues outfit and fuels the Rev’s new release, The Front Porch Sessions. Peyton’sdazzling guitar mastery is equaled here by his knack for vivid, emotionally impactful songwriting, and his originals are matched in their authenticity by the deeply felt vintage blues tunes that he covers. The album showcases the Rev’s irrepressible personality while echoing the enduring spirit of such acoustic blues icons as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Furry Lewis, whose “When My Baby Left Me” receives a memorable reading.

The Front Porch Sessions will be released March 10, 2017 on Family Owned Records/Thirty Tigers.

“It started as a literal whim on my part, but it turned into something really special,” Reverend Peyton says of this new collection. “I wanted it to feel like you’re on my front porch. You can almost hear the wood creaking.”

The Front Porch Sessions maintains a potent level of intensity throughout, from the upbeat optimism of the album-opener “We Deserve aHappy Ending” to the blunt slice-of-life rural reality of “One More Thing” to the rollicking, playful swagger of “Shakey Shirley,” “One Bad Shoe” and “Cornbread and Butterbeans.”Meanwhile, the instrumentals “It’s All Night Long” and “Flying Squirrels” demonstrate the Rev’s nimble, imaginative guitar work.

“I didn’t have much planned when I went into the studio,” the Reverend notes. “I went into the studio with some new songs and some old songs that I’ve always wanted to try. At first, I thought ‘Well, maybe we’ll make it a download or release a single.’ But it took on a life of its own, and when it was all said and done, I was as proud of it as anything I’ve ever done. To me, it was a lesson in not overthinking things; I just went in and let my gut guide me.

“We recorded this album at a studio called Farm Fresh, which is right down the street from my house,” he continues. “It’s in the shade of the oldest poplar tree in Indiana, and there’s a graveyard next to it and train tracks run across there. In fact, I think you can hear the train on one track on this record. The studio’s in an old church, and the main sanctuary is the tracking room, so the haunting reverb that you hear is that room.

“We used a lot of vintage gear in the recording. I love that organic sound, and I’m always chasing that in everything I do. I just like things that feel timeless. Feeling timeless to me is way more important than feeling old. When you try to make something sound old, you’re trying too hard.’

That lifelong pursuit of musical authenticity was instilled in his musical consciousness while Peyton was growing up in rural Indiana, where his early love for blues, ragtime, folk, country and other traditional styles gave him a sense of direction that would soon manifest itself in his own music. He and the Big Damn Band won a large and loyal fan base, thanks to their tireless touring efforts and high-energy showmanship, along with such acclaimed albums as Big Damn Nation, The Gospel Album, The Whole Fam Damnily, The Wages, Between the Ditches, So Delicious and the Charlie Patton tribute disc Peyton on Patton.

Despite his prior achievements, the Rev views The Front Porch Sessions as a personal creative milestone.

“This record’s very personal for me, because so much of it is just me,” he says. “The Big Damn Band is on there, but it’s mostly me. Breezy (Breezy Peyton, washboard) plays washboard on a couple of songs, and Max (Maxwell Senteney, drums) plays a suitcase drum set that we put together in the studio. It’s a snapshot of the week we spent in the studio, but it also represents a lifetime of me building up to it.”

The Front Porch Sessions has also spawned a series of audio-vérité companion videos, many of them shot on the Rev’s actual front porch, that embody the album’s intimacy and immediacy. “A lot of these songs started on the porch, and that’s what the videos are,” he says. “I’d be pickin’ and go, ‘I like the way this sounds, let me get my camera.’”

Reverend Peyton has already begun to integrate The Front Porch Sessions’ spare approach into the Big Damn Band’s expansive live shows, which are renowned for their intensity and abandon.

“In a lot of our shows in the past few years, we’ll take a break and I’ll come out and do a song or two by myself,” he explains. “That brings things down and allows me to do some songs like this. We’re definitely gonna be doing more of that, so there’s definitely gonna be moments in the shows where you’re gonna hear a lot of these songs. We may also do some Front Porch Sessions shows, and maybe present some of our other songs in a more stripped-down way. We did one earlier this year as kind of a test, and that worked really well.

“Over the years, our shows have gotten more dynamic,” he continues. “The ups are more up and the downs are more down. That’s something that’s important to me. If I go and see a show and someone’s just standing there and staring at their feet and singing their songs, I feel insulted. That’s not a performance. I want to know that you’re living that song, not just regurgitating it. I don’t think artists should seem like they’re too cool for their audience.”

The Rev’s dedication to delivering the goods on stage is reflected in his flamboyant performance persona. “The Rev is me,” he states. “Sometimes that freaks people out, because the person who’s on stage is exactly the way I am offstage. I don’t know how to separate myself from my music, because it’s so personal to me. My mom calls me Rev; it’s been my nickname since I was a teenager. It was a name that was given to me by some friends, and it sort of stuck.

“I’m one of those people who feels everything really hard, for better or worse,” he continues. “If I’m angry, I’m really angry. If I’m sad, I’m really sad. If I’m happy, I’m really happy. So onstage, I tap into that. There are certain songs that I can’t play on some nights, because they’re just too sad. That may be the rantings of a crazy person, but it’s the God’s honest truth.”

With The Front Porch Sessions showcasing his expanded musical palette, Reverend Peyton is excited about bringing his new music to his fans.

“I really think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done,” he asserts. “I’m interested in making hand-made American music, and the goal is to be timeless.”
Hogslop String Band
Hogslop String Band
The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of four energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia and Tennessee. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar and Casey "Pickle" McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.

Upon forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, The Hog Slop String Band has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands of the Tennessee Valley area. Known for their outrageous facial hair and a rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and Middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals and soirees.

Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by both young and old alike. Despite an unkempt appearance, their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart as it will your daughters!

“One of the finest square-dance bands on the planet!”-Nashville Scene
Thorp Jenson
Thorp Jenson
Richmond, Va.-based guitarist Thorp Jenson creates the kind of music that makes you want to spend all night in a Southern dive bar and wake up the next morning just to drive across the country—and his songs are at home in either scenario. Jenson’s self-produced debut, Odessa, encapsulates the free-spirited heartland-rock ethos of Tom Petty with a healthy dose of storytelling and singer/songwriter introspection. The record features Jenson’s rich, soul-warming vocals and bright lead guitar supported by musicians and co-writers who have worked and toured alongside artists like Foxygen, Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass and more.

“I wrote a lot of these songs thinking about characters,” Jenson says of Odessa. “It always ends up including a part of me—you can’t get away from that—but if you’re only telling your own story, you’re kind of pigeonholing yourself.”

This character embodiment is apparent throughout the album, no more so than in the title track—a vivid, rollicking tune in which Jenson imagines himself a soldier returning from war to a small-town home that doesn’t quite fit the one in his memory. Along with opening track “Oklahoma,” “Odessa” helps set the overarching rock & roll aesthetic of the album, which Jenson says was influenced by The Rolling Stones, whose catalog was in heavy rotation leading up to the sessions. Jenson also surrounded himself with noticeably simpatico backing musicians. “I needed to bring in the right drummer to do what I wanted to do,” he says. “Somebody who had listened to Charlie Watts at some point in their life.” That drummer was Dusty Ray Simmons, the band rounded out by bassist/keyboardist Andrew Randazzo, guitarists Charles Arthur and Andrew Rapisarda and saxophonist/backup-singer Suzi Fischer. “It helps to have some of your best friends be some of the best musicians you know,” Jenson says. “They really brought it.”
Jenson channels Ryan Adams at his most apocalyptic on Odessa’s dark yet ultimately hopeful “All We Have Is Time,” and shows off his songwriting chops on “The Garden/2nd Season,” a two-part track punctuated by a “Layla”-inspired outro, and featuring lyrics co-written with Foxygen/Matthew E. White bassist Cameron Ralston. The album’s lone cover, Jenson’s take on Modern English’s “I Melt With You” was a bold addition, he admits, but despite his childhood disdain for the track (“I hated that song growing up”), playing it at a wedding gig helped him see past the blinding ’80s sheen to the solid framework underneath, which he’s transformed into a spacey, comfortingly languid love ballad.

Growing up 25 miles south of Richmond in Chester, Va., Jenson, the son of a loving but frequently on the road truck-driver father, received much of his young education from his older brother. “I was maybe what you’d consider a ‘bad kid,’” Jenson recalls. “We were bouncing around on our bicycles, smoking pot. Small-town America—there’s nothing to do. In some ways, it’s kind of sad; but in another way, it’s poetic.”

As an early music fan who “hit the ground running” with ’90s grunge, Jenson also found inspiration from his dad’s record collection, which included ‘70s staples like the Grateful Dead and Derek and the Dominos. But, above all else, he was moved by Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, which came out when he was in seventh grade. “It’s just one of those albums,” Jenson says. “That record, to me—it’s just perfect.”

With Odessa, Jenson offers up a collection of spirited and energetic compositions, setting fire to his lyrics with incendiary lead guitar tightly woven with soaring keyboards, arresting harmonies and a pulsing heartbeat of a rhythm section. After years of building a name for himself as a side-man guitarist in the Richmond music scene, Jenson is now poised to break out as a vibrant songwriter and dynamic frontman with his own story to tell.
Venue Information:
The High Watt
One Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
http://thehighwatt.com/