Friday, October 24, 2008

Two Nights with The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

On Wednesday October 22nd and Thursday October 23rd we were able to see two shows from
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, the first at the The 8X10 in Baltimore and the second at the Gravity Lounge in Charlottesville. Both shows were awesome and solidified the Big Damn Band's top ranking as one of the best live acts in the country. Reverend Peyton's guitar playing was inspiring and Breezy and Jayme were completely in sync, slowing down with the Rev and then exploding simultaneously as soon as the Reverend changed pace.

Both nights they played many of the same songs, starting with "Aberdeen" and My Old Man Boogie" from the Big Damn Nation. They transitioned quickly into their new CD, The Whole Fam Damnily, by playing "Your Cousins on Cops" and DT's Or The Devil". Eventually they also got to "Can't Pay The Bill", "Mama's Fried Potatoes", "Persimmon Song", "The Creeks Are All Bad", and our favorite "Worn Out Shoe" sometime in the performance. What a great CD. "Worn Out Show" is a great song, their self-called Ike & Tina song, only because its starts out nice and ends rough. Each night they played two songs from The Gospel Album, with crowd favorite "Glory Glory Hallelujah" each night and "I Shall Not Be Moved" in Baltimore and "Let Your Light Shine" in Charlottesville - obliging a special request. Thanks Reverend. The Charlottesville show also was unique in that it was an all ages show. A few parents brought their children who danced near the stage the entire evening. Even the band's sometimes menacing stage presence did not deter the kids. And thanks Gravity Lounge. Of the two shows, the Charlottesville seemed a little better, the band seemed more at easy - telling more stories than the previous night. Maybe they were relaxed because the last time they played at this venue only 10 people showed. This night, close to 75 attended, bringing more energy to the stage. Regardless The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band is a must see. If a venue isn't within reach - we recommend each of their CDs. They only get better.

We also want to mention the opening acts at these shows. At the The 8X10 Junior League started the night with a bluegrass feel and we were quickly impressed with this Washington D.C. based band. Fronted by Lissy Rosemont sweet vocals, the band has a unique sound in particular when they covered Robert Johnson's Crossroad Blues - starting off extremely slow and bluesy and finishing with a string bluegrass flavor. The band also covered Levon Helm with another strong performance. They just released a new CD, "Mitchell Williams Fo Govena" and we enjoyed several songs that we hope are included: South Carolina Blues and Kiss You in the Morning. Afterward we learned that this is not simply a regional band. They have a strong national following, especially in the Midwest. We hope to see them at the IOTA Club on Halloween.

Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers opened for the the Big Damn Band in Charlottesville with a set that was part Appalachia, part Gospel, part Bluegrass. Morris is accompanied by several Charlottesville area musicians who played songs from their new much acclaimed CD, Songs From Candyapolis. We liked what we heard. The band also hosts several children shows which fits in nicely to the Gravity Lounge's all ages concept. We look forward to their next show.

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