Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Live at The Garage, London ****  

Peyton’s Big Damn Band is rather small. On stage with Peyton were his wife “Washboard” Breezy Peyton and Max Senteney on a drumkit that includes a maple syrup bucket as tom tom.

Peyton plays blues guitar the old-fashioned way, playing the bass line with his thumb and finger-picking the lead. This was a no-frills show of Delta and Hill Country Blues played with intensity, good humour and skill.

Peyton had six guitars on stage, including a National Resonator and two box guitars, one being a three-string version. About one of his guitars Peyton said “I paid $325 for this one, so it’s both cheap and old.”

My Old Man Boogie opened the show. Imagine George Thorogood’s New Hawaiian Boogie on steroids, the frantic Peyton playing both guitar parts and the dual percussionists thrashing behind him. The theme was to continue, Peyton with storming guitar, Breezy and Senteney driving the band like the proverbial freight train.

Touring constantly, the trio can play up to 300 shows a year, like BB King for many years. They played four tracks from the new album Poor Until Payday. Peyton took two tracks on his own towards the end of the set.

In a thrilling 90-minute set, tracks included You Can’t Steal My Shine, It Is Or It Ain’t, Get The Family Together, Pot Roast And Kisses, Bean Blossom Boogie and Devils Look Like Angels. The trio gave a raucous encore of Two Bottles Of Wine and We Deserve A Happy Ending.

If you like your blues fast, frenetic, furious and fun then this is the band for you. This is one damn fine band with a big sound.


Words and Live Photo by Chaz Brooks

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