That is The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. They’re not that big actually, but man do they sound big. With washboard, and drums from his band mates, Reverend Peyton provides every other necessary sound with his guitar and voice. They’re stopping in town on Friday 26 to play at the Tuning Fork and I spoke with the Reverend last week after he’d settled in to his spot at Splore Festival…

This is their first time in NZ, “This is going to be our 31st country we’ve played in. It’s the furthest south we’ve ever been. I’m hoping if the clouds go away I’ll get to see the Southern Cross, I’ve never been far enough south to see it, when it wasn’t too cloudy. Really excited about it, all the places we’ve been have mostly been the Northern Hemisphere.”

Touring non stop all year round has its benefits for a band like The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, as they’re the type of band that converts audiences on the spot, at gigs, doing the hard yards. “We tour an awful lot, it’s the nature of the music business. Especially for a band like us, grassroots, one fan at a time. It’s pretty cool that we’ve been able to make a living doing it. I love being on the road too. It’s cool to be home, but it’s awesome to be on the road again. Because our band has a very diverse following, you look at our schedule and we play blues festivals, world music festivals, country fests, biker bars, punk rock bars, you name it, we’ve played every kind of venue. We’ve literally done it all. That helps keep it interesting. Every time we go someplace, we’re normally asked back and it usually gets bigger and better each time.” 

As always, the conversation on writing on the road came up, as touring can often be full of inspiration but a hard lifestyle to sit and write those new hits. “I write a lot of music on the road but I don’t finish a lot of songs. I only finish them at home. It’s kind of weird I’m always playing and jotting down ideas, but I think it takes a little more focus to really finish a song. Every now and again one just comes out all at once, but for the most part I write at home. We’ve been taking the winters off, I have to, for writing and recording, just getting back in that woodshed! In the hills of Southern Indiana, we live in a log cabin from the 1850s, a little tiny thing, but big enough for me and Breezy.” 

The band is a slightly odd makeup, having a drummer and a washboard player, but the Reverend himself is almost an entire band just on his own! “Because I play finger style, I play the bass and the lead guitar at the same time. The washboard almost fills the space, almost like rhythm guitar, so between that and the drums and me, you don’t feel like you are missing anything from a band that has five or six people. Our most recent record, So Delicious, they keep getting better and better (our live shows have always been), sometimes people hear the record and don’t believe all that music is played by one dude until they see it!”

“The fans that come out and watch it, they don’t miss a show after that! We’re a band that can make what’s on the record happen live too.
When you come to a show, you see a moment in time of my life right then.”

Playing at the Tuning Fork on Friday 26 February, you can get tickets to the show and find out more details here! 

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