Artist: Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Hometown: Brown County, Indiana
Latest album: Poor Until Payday
Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): My high school blues band was called Drive-thru. We always joke about Breezy’s side project, “Breezy and the Boys” or our “Blueshammer” band Little Stevie and the Bluescats
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
Charley Patton, and it is an easy answer. The first time I heard his music I was blown away. The fingerpicking, the slide, the rhythm! He was the one that started it all too, probably the most important figure in all of American music history. If I’m being honest, I think his gospel stuff maybe has influenced me musically the most.
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
We’ve done 300 shows a year for a decade, too many for one favorite, but there are definitely favorites. A sold-out show in Serbia the first time we went there, no one speaks English, but everyone knows the words to all the songs. FXFU in Austin, and they literally tore the roof of the stage we were playing on the crowd was going so nuts. Every Juke Joint festival we’ve headlined in Clarksdale, Mississippi. When we played as part of the Super Bowl concert in Indianapolis, and even though the weather turned really cold, there were about 20,000 people watching and rocking with us. Those stand out, but the quality of the crowds just keep getting better, making it hard to answer.
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
The first time I made music on a guitar, I knew I wanted to be a professional musician. I had lived my life up to that point like a fish out of water. I felt like I had been dropped back in.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
Fishing! We fish everywhere we go. It’s like our “Yoga.” It’s how we relax, unwind, connect with nature, and it’s how we chase that high you get when that rod is bent.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
We need to have Mexican food with Billy Gibbons, because last time we hung out we didn’t end up getting to try out the Tex-Mex place he suggested. Also, I’d like to go fishing with Taj Mahal and then grill up what we catch. Either of those would be a perfect music/food combination.
Photo credit: Tyler Zoller