Album review: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band - Between The Ditches

11:00 14 September 2012

The Reverend Peyton

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Between The Ditches

Archant

The darker, grittier down-home blues to Seasick Steve’s jaunty licks, Reverend Peyton’s latest is just as absorbing and compelling.

Another week, another scraping of the blues/Americana barrel, right?

Thankfully, the trio of the Reverend, his wife Breezy and distant cousin Aaron Persinger know what they’re doing.

Playing guitars made in the ‘30s, soundtracking down-home, dirty-fingernail hollers about hard work, big ol’ Chevys and the realities of back-country life, this fifth album is razor-sharp, gutsy and cuts through the heat-haze, doubtless honed by the 250 gigs they play each year.

By all accounts, life in south Indiana is no picnic - from the perils of drug abuse to strip-mining the land, and towns where even ‘angels look like hell’, the Rev paints some evocative vignettes, lashed to tight, familiar Delta blues motifs and rhythms.

There’s a refreshing politicised edge in the marching, isolationist call-to-arms Shake ‘Em Off Like Fleas, and elsewhere Breezy’s sweet backing is just audible above the Rev’s lightly gruff hillbilly twang, sounding like The Presidents Of The United States Of America’s estranged dad.

A potent brew.

4 stars

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