• Review

REVIEW: The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Riverfront Live

Photo Cred: Scott Preston

Just as the sun was setting and things were beginning to cool off for the evening, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band took the stage at Riverfront Live to perform an energetic and authentic blues performance. The name of the band is a little misleading as “The Big Damn Band,” as it only consists of Reverend Peyton on guitars, his wife Breezy on the washboard and drummer Ben Bussell. What is big about the band is their sound. While there are only 3 people in the band, you would swear there are more. The heavy blues sound owes a lot to the Rev’s incredible guitar playing. There is no bass player here, only his thumb to lay down the foundation while simultaneously laying down the song’s melody. Breezy’s washboard skills aren’t to be missed either as they perfectly compliment the guitars with the drums.

Early in the set, the Rev exclaimed, “I’m so happy to be here, it don’t matter.” The Cincinnati show was only one of a handful of dates that the band has played this year. For a band that is used to playing over 250 shows a year, you could feel and see the sheer joy the band was having performing music live. The band wasn’t the only ones that were having fun either, multiple people were dancing, singing and cheering their hearts out to The Big Damn Band’s infectious sound.

The Big Damn Band’s recent release, “Dance Songs for Hard Times,” recently enjoyed a couple weeks as the #1 Blues album in the world, a fact that clearly pleases The Rev. He pointed out that their single, “Ways and Means” is currently the #1 Blues song before the band performed it before the hungrily awaiting crowd. The Rev took a moment to pat himself and brag a bit about how he came up with his guitar technique for one of the new songs on the album. Breezy quickly seized the opportunity to take a few lighthearted jabs at her husband. The onstage banter was worth the price of admission alone.

The Rev continued to tell the crowd how thankful they were being able to do live shows again and thanked everyone for coming out. Patreon and live streams helped bridge the gap to connect with fans but still weren’t the same. Peyton mentioned the big drawback to live streams was the lack of crowd participation. Next, they played the song, “Clap your Hands,” that was made for crowd participation. Everyone in the audience was clapping, dancing and shouting along as the band continued with their captivating performance.

How do you top what was already a rowdy, punchy and rocking Blues infused evening? How about behind the back guitar playing? Not enough? How about a performance on a cigar box guitar? Still not enough? Ok. How about Breezy setting her washboard afire? Wow! Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band have been able to not only capture a big sound but they also put on a big and satisfying performance when they play live. Let’s hope concert and music performance opportunities continue to improve and that the Big Damn Band doesn't stay away for long.