Veteran blues outfit Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band has and its fans have a lot of reason to be happy today. The band announced recently that its new album Poor Until Payday, which was released last October via its own Family Owned Records and Thirty Tigers, has been nominated for Best Blues Rock Album of 2019 at the annual Blues Music Awards. The ceremony is scheduled for May 9 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. The awards ceremony is just one part of the band’s upcoming tour in support of Poor Until Payday. The band’s upcoming tour is scheduled to launch Feb. 16 in St. Augustine, FL and to run through March 10 in Minden, WV. Two additional dates – May 31 and September 1 in Cookeville, TN – are also currently scheduled. The band’s upcoming tour includes a performance on Feb. 28 at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC. Tickets for that show are available online now at https://www.local506.com/event/1803420-reverend-peytons-big-damn-chapel-hill/.
Plenty of the band’s new material will be performed at the show, and copies of Poor Until Payday will be available at the show. Audiences will agree after hearing the band perform and after hearing its new album that Poor Until Payday is more than deserving of its nomination, as well as a win, should it take home that top prize at the upcoming awards ceremony. That is proven right from the album’s outset in the blues/gospel hybrid song ‘You Can’t Steal My Shine.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Me and the Devil,’ which comes much later in the album’s run, is another example of the album’s strength. It will be addressed a little later. The same can be said of ‘I Suffer, I Get Tougher.’ It will also be addressed later. Each of the songs noted here shows in its own way why Poor Until Payday is a positive new effort from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. When they are considered alongside the likes of ‘So Good,’ ‘Frenchmen Street’ and the album’s title track (and the rest of the album’s songs not noted here), the whole of Poor Until Payday proves to be a rich new record from one of the best names in the blues music industry today.
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s new album Poor Until Payday is a rich (yes, that awful pun was fully intended) new offering from a group that is one of the leaders in the blues music community today. It is a record that is fully deserving of its nomination by the Blues Music Foundation for the Best Blues Rock Album of 2019. What’s more, it is just as deserving of a win in that category, should it receive that award. That is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘You Can’t Steal My Shine.’ The song’s musical arrangement is an infectious, percussion-driven work that boasts not just a blues vibe, but also a certain southern gospel element mixed in that builds on the song’s blues base for a sound overall that makes the song an easy fan favorite. The arrangement alone is not all that makes the song such a favorite and strong point for the record. Its equally emotionally upbeat lyrical content makes the song even more of a strong point.
The Rev. sings in this song, “You can’t steal/You can’t steal my shine/Oh, I shine too bright/Oh, I shine too bright/You can’t steal my light/Light a thief in the night/Oh, you come/Like a thief in the night/Oh, you come/But no darkness in Hell/Could dim my light/You can’t steal my shine.” He goes on to sing, “Like a star in the sky/Oh, I shine/Like a star in the sky/Oh, I shine/The darker the night/The brighter the light.” This is a simple message that leaves absolutely zero doubt as to the song’s message. It is a positive work that states nothing is going to let a person get one down. On another level, it is an homage of sorts to the timeless spiritual, ‘This Little Light of Mine.’ That adds even more to the song’s gospel-tinged sound, and in turn to the appreciation for the song and album in whole. It is just one of the songs featured in this record that serves to show the album’s strength. ‘Me and the Devil’ is another work that shows what makes Poor Until Payday a rich new offering from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.
Just as ‘You Can’t Steal My Shine’ stands out in part due to its musical arrangement, so does ‘Me and the Devil.’ Unlike the prior song, the latter is more of a pure blues arrangement that shows some direct influence from Muddy Waters, Johnny Lee Hooker and other similar artists with its electric, mid-tempo arrangement. The simplicity in the arrangement – Peyton’s vocals and guitar work set alongside drummer Maxwell Senteney and Peyton’s wife Breezy Peyton – adds to the song’s appeal. The whole of the trio’s work makes the song sound so raw, throwing back to the golden age of the blues. That simplicity and homage to a bygone era of blues creates a solid foundation for the song, on which the song’s lyrical content rests.
The lyrics at the center of ‘Me and the Devil’ (and Rev. Peyton’s delivery thereof) are simple yet so powerful in their own right. Peyton sings here, “Me and the devil both coming for you/Nothing that you can do/Me and the devil both coming for you/Nothing that you can do/If I get you first/It will be worse.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Me and the Devil hunting side-by-side/Nowhere for you to hide/Me and the Devil hunting side-by-side/Nowhere for you to hide/If I get you first/It will be worse.” The song continues using largely the same words from here on out, changing things very minimally. The result is a very clear message. The speaker is someone who is making it clear that he/she is coming after someone who has wronged the speaker and the speaker means business. Again, it is a simple, clear-cut message that leaves nothing to doubt. When that clear, simple message is coupled with the song’s equally clear, simple musical arrangement, the whole becomes yet another one of Poor Until Payday’s strongest points, but also hardly its last strong point. ‘I Suffer, I Get Tougher’ is yet another of the album’s most notable entries.
‘I Suffer I get Tougher’ stands out, just as with the previously discussed songs, in part because of its musical arrangement. This song’s arrangement is another pure blues arrangement that once again displays an influence of Muddy Waters and Johnny Lee Hooker through its simple, accessible guitar work and timekeeping from Maxwell Senteney. Breezy Peyton’s washboard adds just enough flare to that mix to make the arrangement that much more enjoyable. The whole of the trio’s work does so much to make the song enjoyable and entertaining, yet still manages to keep the song simple in the long run. That alone makes this song stand out quite well. Of course the song’s lyrical content does its own part to make the song stand out, too.
As with the other songs discussed here, this song’s lyrical content does just as much to make it stand out as its musical arrangement. Peyton sings in this song, “Try to stop us/We ain’t slowin’/Try to kill us/We just growin’/All this wrong/We’re getting stronger/All this pain/We just obtain.” He continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, singing, “Try to break us/We ain’t broken/Try to bend us/We ain’t foldin’.” From there he sings in the song’s chorus again, “All this wrong/We’re getting stronger/All this pain/We just obtain/I suffer through/I get tougher, too.” Peyton’s confident delivery of these lyrics couples with the song’s equally driving arrangement to make the song a no-nonsense song that is just as motivating and entertaining as any of the album’s other entries, showing once more why the album in whole is such a positive effort from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.
One could easily stop at this point and say that this song and the others directly discussed here are without a doubt, clear examples of why Poor Until Payday is deserving of its new nomination (and its win if it indeed wins the award). That just would not do the album justice, though. ‘So Good,’ with its equally entertaining old school blues arrangement and uplifting anti-drug lyrical message, ‘Frenchmen Street,’ with its infectious tribute to classic Dixieland and Delta Blues (and of course to New Orleans itself through its lyrical content) and the album’s title track, which pays tribute to all of the people who work paycheck to paycheck across America can just as easily be used to show Poor Until Payday’s strengths. When they are considered along with the three songs noted here and the remaining four not directly noted, the album in whole proves itself more than deserving of any nomination and award that it receives. Simply put, from start to end, this 10-song record proves that it is a rich new offering from one of the best names in the blues community today. Poor Until Payday is available now. More information on Poor Until Payday is available online now along with all of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s news is available online now at:
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