Live Review: The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Fox Theatre

It wasn't a big damn crowd, but Reverend Peyton played like it was (photos by Jon Solomon).

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band Friday, July 4, 2008 Fox Theatre Better than: Fireworks and barbecues.

The Reverend Peyton knew it was going to be tough when he agreed to play a gig on July 4th. The band was originally going to take the day off, but decided to go ahead and give it shot and go up against fireworks, parties and barbecues. It was a sparse crowd at the beginning, but the folks started trickling in and making their way to the front of the stage.

But Peyton, his wife Washboard Breezy and his brother Jayme didn’t let a small crowd get in the way of a good time. Early on in the set, the trio got things fired up and inspired some foot stomping with “My Old Man Boogie.” When the outfit launched into rowdy “DTs or the Devil,” it kicked up the energy level a few notches, with Peyton yelling, “Is it the DTs or the devil that makes you shake like that?” That song will appear on the band's new album, The Whole Fam Damnily, due out in August.

The band also delivered a few other cuts from its forthcoming album like, “Can’t Pay the Bills,” which Peyton thumped out a bass line with his thumb, “The Creeks Are All Bad,” “Mama’s Fried Potatoes” and “Your Cousin’s on COPS,” which the Rev played slide guitar with his harmonica.

In addition to the new material, the band dipped into songs from the Big Damn Nation like “Plainfield Blues,” which the Rev played for a few transplant Hoosiers in the crowd, and a few cuts from The Gospel Album, including stellar versions of and “Let Your Light Shine” and “Glory Glory Hallelujah,” that featured Jayme banging out a solo on his bucket. The group also played “Two Bottles of Wine,” which Peyton wrote with Jason Webley.

Whatever the three were playing, they kept the energy pumping and played liked they were playing to a full house. The enthusiastic crowd shot that energy right back at the band, and before he played “Sugar Man” (a song Peyton said he only plays about twice a year), he thanked the folks and said, “Ya’all made us feel like the place was sold out.”

--Jon Solomon

Personal Bias: There were about twenty people in the Fox just before Peyton started his set. But fortunately that number just about tripled throughout the show. Random Detail: As Peyton was putting on his harmonica holder he said he was playing a gig where some kids pushed the mike stand, making the mike hit the harmonica, which knocked out some of his front teeth. By the Way: I talked to a guy before the show who had never seen Peyton. I urged him to stick around and saw the dude dancing up a storm throughout most of the show.

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