In times like these we need bands like Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. This fact is not lost on the band itself, and so now here we are with their latest album ‘Dance Songs for Hard Times’. If ever music can be the cure for anything, the Rev is here to deliver.
The band aren’t kidding when they declare these to be dance songs. The Rev’s bellowing voice (stronger here than ever before) and blues craftsmanship, backed up by the endless charm of Breezy’s washboard and backing vocals, and Max’s Senteney’s drum rhythm, are as solid as always. This album, however, really is brimming with bluesy, party numbers.
From the driving opener of ‘Ways and Means’, straight into the swinging ‘Rattle Can’, this record is crying out to be enjoyed loud. The rockabilly of ‘Too Cool to Dance’ perhaps symbolizes the carefree nature of this release more than any other song on the album – “we may not get another chance/please don’t tell me you’re too cool dance.” It really is a breath of fresh air in these tough and uncertain times. It just makes me sad that we really can’t get out there to dance.
The record still leans heavily on its traditional influences, and songs such as ‘No Tellin’ When’ carry the timeless and haunting sound that is so integral to folk & blues storytelling, whereas ‘Come Down Angels’ closes out the album with a raucous riot of gospel.
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is a band that just keeps improving – technically and creatively – without ever straying from the elements that make them easily one of the best blues bands of modern times. I fell in love with them upon listening to ‘Between the Ditches’ in 2012 and have rejoiced in everything they’ve released since; however, listening to ‘Dance Songs for Hard Times’ comes closest to that feeling of utter joy I experienced the first time around.
Author: Craggy Collyde