Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
There aren’t a lot of Warped Tour vets who can claim proficiency in the use of washboards, bottleneck slides and five-gallon buckets. Most didn’t spend their teens playing along to Charlie Patton and Bukka White albums. And just about none are fronted by a commissioned member of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels.
But the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, who appeared for two weeks on the 2009 Warped Tour and will be on the entire 2010 tour, are all that and more. With wild sing-a-longs and flaming washboards, their live shows have been converting skeptics left and right.
Now, with the May 25 release of “The Wages,” the soulful, swinging country-blues trio proves they’re more than just a world class live band. Their second album for SideOneDummy Records, it was produced by Paul Mahern (Zero Boys, John Mellencamp) and recorded in the band’s Big Damn Tradition: live in the studio with no overdubs on honest-to-goodness analog tape.
Appropriate to our times, “The Wages” is thematically rooted in the blues tradition of hard-bitten reality matched with enduring optimism.
There are songs that deal with crystal meth abuse and the disappearance of the American family farm (“In a Holler Over There”), the cost of living (“Everything’s Raising”), unrequited love (“Sure Feels Like Rain”) and, of course, murder (“Lick Creek Road”).
But the Reverend’s brood also celebrates rural life on “Born Bred Corn Fed,” serves up danceable sing-a-longs like “Clap Your Hands,” and offers renewed hope for hard times in “Just Getting By.”
The Big Damn Band is very much a family affair, with the good reverend on finger-style resonator guitar and lead vocals, his wife “Washboard” Breezy Peyton on washboard and vocals, and distant cousin Aaron “Cuz” Persinger on drums and bucket. The band’s home base is deep in the hills of Southern Indiana’s Brown County, which boasts a population of 14,957. (Or 14,954 when the band’s out on the road playing close to 250 gigs a year, including appearances at the Austin City Limits festival and tours with Flogging Molly, Derek Trucks, and Clutch.)
“I grew up in the country, and rural life and rural culture has shaped me and my music,” says Reverend Peyton, who really is a Kentucky Colonel, just like Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and Tiger Woods. “I have been playing music since I was a little kid. I am pretty sure we are on to something now.”
That combination of authenticity and originality is evident throughout “The Wages,” driven by the trio’s big damn vocals and melodies, gutbucket guitar playing, and foot-stomping rhythms, all in service of songs that are honest and moving, devoid of irony or artifice.
“We may be few in numbers, but we sound big,” says Washboard Breezy. “And I think we stand for something big too. Even if sometimes it’s just that it is okay to be a regular person.”
“No need for introductions we've known each other for years. You're not staring at a dead man six shots is what got me here”. The opening lines from the song "Hello"(the band’s debut single) couldn't be more spot on. After touring most of the world with The Afghan Whigs Singer Steve Myers returned home only to get shot and left for dead on a rainy New Orleans street (read the article ). Myers moved to New York to recover and try to put his past behind him only joining the Dulli lead Twilight Singers occasionally for shows on the East Coast or recording down South. Not until hooking up with fellow New Orleanian Jagon Eldridge in late 2003 did he think about starting a band of his own. Eldridge, an accomplished saxophone player in his own right who studied under some of the greats had also moved to New York and started playing gigs with Andy G and the Roller Kings. Along with fellow Roller King Richie Pomerantz, the three started writing songs in Jagon's apartment. Pomerantz's motorcycle riding buddy bass player Paul Verciglio joined a month later. Guitar player/producer Mitro Valsamis who played in the 90's punk band The Trickbabys joined Mighty Fine after hearing early demos. Subsequently the band locked themselves away for the rest of the summer of 2004 until things felt right. "We didn't want to play out until we had our shit together" - Myers
After self releasing the band debut ep “ The Dirty Sessions” in 2006, the band went on to open for acts such as TV On The Radio, Clap Your Hands & Say Yeah, The Dirtbombs, The Slackers, & The Gutter Twins just to name a few. Also around this time Eldridge departed Mighty Fine to make room for Gary French on keys. Early production for Get Up To Get Down started in late 2008; to keep but expand on the sound of their previous work the band recorded everything on 12 track tape and played every song live to keep the raw feeling of a Mighty Fine show. With guest appearances from Mick Collins from The Dirt Bombs, David Hillyard & Glen Pine from the Slackers and Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers, Get Up to Get Down is a true party record.
Sweaty Rump Shakin' Garage Soul is a great way to describe the band, the combination of a James Brown styled soul review and sweaty garage rock show. “In this band, New York and New Orleans meet at the crossroads and no one moves an inch." - Myers
Daddy Long Legs
DADDY LONG LEGS, the rock n’ blues group, derives its moniker from its harmonica-blastin’ frontman.
Daddy Long Legs, the aforementioned wailer, is joined by slide-guitar driving Murat Aktürk (born in Ankara, Turkey) and legendary NYC trap master Josh Styles, who attacks his kit with a whip and a maraca, although not necessarily in that order.
The trio has taken the music scene by storm, with alarms sounding throughout the East Coast and reverberating across the globe, as they cut through the mediocrity, directly into the meat of real music—from the hip and to the heart.
Within a few short months, DADDY LONG LEGS has taken to stages with the likes of the Sonics, the Flamin’ Groovies, the Hoodoo Gurus, Lenny Kaye, Andy Shernoff, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and Question Mark And The Mysterians. They have burned down barrelhouse backrooms, afterhours nightspots, and legendary locations like the famed Friars Club, NYC.
Their rapid rise in popularity is based in their total lack of pretense– all three young men are seriously dredged in deep blues baconfat, seasoned, seared, scored and tempered…and baptized in hotwired wine and brine.
Their first Norton single, a raw reading of the Rolling Stones Cocksucker Blues, coupled with The Under Assistant West Coast Promotional Man recorded with Andy Shernoff at the helm and at the microphone, brought them to the forefront of the local scene, even catching the ear of Chicago R&B legend T Valentine, who promptly tapped the trio as his band both onstage and in the studio. A much-awaited combined effort, THE VAMPIRE, is due for release in November.
DADDY LONG LEGS presents here their debut full-length Norton label offering, EVIL EYE ON YOU, a showcase of the trio’s finest original proclamations, set in a sparse black and white selection that is meaty beyond definition.
DADDY LONG LEGS is currently on tour in the US, with an overseas itinerary in the works.
Keep your evil ear on DADDY LONG LEGS. Else they put the EVIL EYE ON YOU.