The band draws inspiration from life, people and food.
"The Reverend," a.k.a. singer and guitarist Josh Peyton, has been a fan of Yazoo Records since he was a kid. So he says it's a dream come true that the label recently released So Delicious, the new album from his trio, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band.
The Indiana-based blues and country trio visits the Frequency on March 5.
Country and blues aficionados will recognize Yazoo as the late-'60s label that reissued albums by such greats as Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Mississippi John Hurt.
Yazoo's passion impressed Peyton. "With a label it's great to have people around that say 'yes.' And they have been so supportive and really let me make the record that I want to make," he says.
Peyton, his wife, Breezy, and drummer Ben "Bird Dog" Bussell had plenty of motivation to make one of their strongest albums. They took the time to get it right: Because Peyton was producing the album, they were able to experiment with their instruments, equipment and voices.
Peyton uses fingerstyle guitar playing, a style developed by country and blues greats. "You treat it like you're playing two things at once. The bass is your thumb and then the lead is your fingers," Peyton says. "It's kind of a dying art, and I try to take it to places that it's never been before, like on 'Let's Jump a Train.'"
Playing guitar is something Peyton never takes for granted. When he was about 18 years old, excruciating pain in his left hand forced him to give up playing for a couple of years. Fortunately, he had surgery and was able to resume playing.
So Delicious draws inspiration from a variety of places, including food, life experiences and people Peyton knows. "Some people say they only write love songs, and some say all they write are protest songs, but I refuse to let myself be constrained. I write songs," he says.
For example, "Pot Roast and Kisses" is a lighthearted, bubbly track. Peyton says some of the album is heavier, but that one is a love song: "It's just music for the sake of being fun, and I think that's important too."
The band's current tour is one of their biggest yet: 45 shows in 26 states and the District of Columbia between now and early May, followed by a European tour later in the year. "It's going to be a pretty epic tour," says Peyton.
Peyton says the band's music appeals to all sorts of music fans. "Hip-hop show people dress the part. Rockabilly people dress the part. People at a punk rock show dress like they're at a punk rock show," says Peyton. "What's great about our shows is that it really is diverse. There's no scene in that way. So you might see a kid with blue hair standing next to his granddad. I've always been really proud of that."