As usual I am late to the party. Hell Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band isn’t even new around these parts. Apparently I was an idiot and didn’t get in to them when AIV posted about them way back in 2007 and now I am sad. I am sad because I could have diggin’ on this bad ass music for four years and haven’t been. Peyton On Patton is 13 Charley Patton songs given the Peyton treatment. Now I won’t claim I know a damn thing about delta blues but there appears to be some contention about who is the king of said blues and Peyton comes down on the Patton side of that debate. I am glad I don’t know anything about it though because the good Reverend says he will go toe to toe with anyone who disagrees and I surely don’t want to disagree. In this case my ignorance of the blues is a rather handy thing. What I do know though is the the Big Damn Band does an amazing job on these songs.
“Peyton On Patton” was recorded just like the man to whom it is a tribute would have done it – one microphone, one studio, one day. What stands out immediately are the Revs powerful vocals. I say powerful but that doesn’t really do them any sort of justice. This man has pipes for days! The backing players, the Rev’s wife Breezy and Cuz Persinger, contribute as well albeit in bit of a different capacity than usual. Breezy plays washboard on a couple of tracks but her vocals on Elder Greene Blues really take it to another level. Cuz plays a tobacco barrel throughout the album for a stripped down sound and feeling which goes really well with the songs the Rev picked out for this tribute. I might not know Charley Patton but I do know that not many people alive today could have pulled of this album like Peyton has done. The arrangements, while stripped down, are simply genius. Peyton On Patton is Essential Listening without any doubt. I get the feeling that this one won’t see as much play as it deserves because it is not the usual offering from the full band and that’s frankly a damn shame.
As an aside as much as I have been enjoying the blues lately I think I actually have to look in to the genre with a little more than a passing glance as I have been doing. So anyone that has any suggestions should seriously e-mail me or drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook as I could use some guidance on my journey in to the blues.