Show Review – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, 3/30/13, Taft Theatre, Cincinnati, OH


Written by Bill Whiting
Photos by Bernice Whiting

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Blues Revolution came to Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre on March 30 with the Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band joined by Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jimbo Mathus. An energized audience of blues enthusiasts gathered near the stage to hear Alvin Youngblood Hart play acoustic guitar. The Grammy winner translated an appreciation of Charlie Patton as he effortlessly evoked the music and meaning of Patton’s compositions inside the intimate confines of the Taft’s Ballroom. Mathus  followed with a wild set of material that included songs from his recent long player, White Buffalo, on Fat Possum Records.

Pumping up the packed house with rock and roll fueled rave ups, Mathus had the Taft’s walls shaking from his bruising guitar solos, and call and response singing. Headliners Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band took the stage, and concentrated on their 2012 gem, Between the Ditches. Josh “The Reverend” Peyton and wife Breezy Peyton are highly engaging forces live, and their propulsive rhythms powered “Big Blue Chevy ’72” and “Something For Nothing,” as the crowd shouted the ensemble’s lyrics back towards the stage. Whether playing “Born Bred Corn Fed” from 2010’s underrated disc, The Wages, or slamming through the opening track from Between the Ditches, “Devils Look Like Angels,” the Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s raw, blistering blues attack was a fierce and potent experience. One of the best concerts of 2013, the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Blues Revolution left one in rabid anticipation of each artists’ return to the Cincinnati area.