Personnel: The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, harmonica); Ben "Birddog" Bussell (drums, percussion); Breezy Peyton (washboard, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Paul Mahern.
Recording information: Farm Fresh Studios, Bloomington, IN.
Photographer: Tyler Zoller.
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band release their fifth album, So Delicious, on a revitalized Yazoo Records via Shanachie. Yazoo is a storied blues label and it's a good fit for the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, a trio from the backwoods of Indiana whose members desperately wish they hailed from the Delta. Such geographical displacement has a long history in American music -- in the back half of the 20th century, John Fogerty's swamp rock from San Francisco might be the best known -- so Peyton and his crew don't feel like charlatans: they're Americans who like to live in their ideal fantasy world. The funny thing about So Delicious is that for showing up on a blues label, it can rock pretty hard, something the clattering opening "Let's Jump a Train" makes plain, but the Big Damn Band aren't the Black Keys; they don't pump up and amplify their blues for arenas, but are happy to sit on a front porch during a hot Sunday afternoon. That's an intimate situation and, appropriately, the group slides some sweetness onto So Delicious, such as the gentle "Scream at the Night" and the ode to family "Pickin Pawpaws" (also quiet is the spectral solo slide guitar of "You're Not Rich," but that haunts instead of comforts). Still, the operative order of this record is a bit of full-tilt boogie and good times, an album that acknowledges there's nothing finer than pot roast and kisses from the one you love. In other words, this is big, burly blues whose heart belongs at home. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine