It started snowing as soon as I left the house on Friday night. Typically, this wouldn’t bug me. I’m the type of person that understands that we live in Minnesota and snow happens so it’s just part of life but right now I’m dealing with some super crappy tires and my appointment to get new ones isn’t until Monday, What I’m trying to say is that it was a white knuckle drive across town to the Turf Club but I was not going to miss the Friday night show.
I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve seen Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn band live. We have definitely hit the double digits but I don’t know if that double-digit number starts with a one or a two. I’ve only written about them three previous times but they are one of those bands that I have seen over and over again even if I only have time to catch a song or two before moving on to another show. At first listen to this band, you may wonder why I am so obsessed. It would be a factual statement to say that their unique blend of bluesy country with a little edge isn’t my typical thing but, that’s just it– it’s unique and they are doing something that I have never heard anyone do before with some of the most infectious smiles I have ever seen. All of this means that I never miss a chance to see Rev. Peyton live and truly look forward to when they come to town.
Although the roads were undeniably crappy and the temperature was quickly plummeting, I was not the only one who was determined to get to The Turf Club on Friday night. It wasn’t a sold-out show but, for a snowy Friday evening, it was packed which was nice because it brought a sense of warmth to the arctic tundra that we would all be dumped into when the show was said and done. Much like the music, Rev. Peyton’s crowd is all over the place and I think that’s one of the other reasons I love going to see them so much. From punks to an older generation to people who seemingly just got off their 9 to 5 and just wanted a good time, the crowd at a Rev. Peyton show is the type of crowd that makes you feel like you belong even if you show up alone. I think after years of going to shows alone, I forgot that shows can give you this feeling of belonging even if they aren’t “part of your scene” so that was absolutely just the icing on the cake for my Friday night.
As I eluded to, I love seeing Rev. Peyton live but it’s not one of my go-to’s when it comes to listening to music at home. I have no explanation for that other than the fact that their live show is just so flawless that, at this point, listening to them in my own house just does not do them justice. Because of that, I can’t tell you what songs they played but I can tell you that the band mentioned throughout the set that they were playing some songs that they don’t normally play due to the recent Spotify Wrapped numbers that have come out. It was fun to hear some songs that I hadn’t heard them play before but also nice to hear some of their old trusty’s including their super fun rendition of “This Little Light of Mine”.
I’m not a guitar player but I feel like I have a rough understanding of the instrument. What I don’t understand is how reverend Peyton does what he does with the guitar. Reverend Peyton is the guitarist and lead vocalist of The Big Damn Band. A larger-than-life character who typically wears overalls and always has a brimming smile on his face. What he can make a guitar do is seriously jaw-dropping. It’s called fingerstyle guitar from what I can gather online but basically, it’s using his thumb to play a bassline while the rest of the melody is played with his other fingers. I feel like typing that all out does not do it talent so I urge you to look up some of the many videos that he posts online of just him playing guitar. It’s mesmerizing and is a true showing of his talent and the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears he has put into his craft. I won’t spoil it but Rev. Peyton has a new single dropping next week of a Christmas classic. I can confirm that all of the guitarwork in the track was all him because, well, I saw him do it live on Friday night.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the rest of Rev. Peyton’s “Big Damn Band” (which actually only consists of two other members). “Washboard” Breezy Peyton is a true joy to watch perform. As you may have gotten from the name, she plays the washboard and also pitches in on vocals from time to time. Much like Rev. Peyton, Breezy’s smile is absolutely infectious and, when mixed with the funny faces she makes when performing, you are left with a dynamic performance from her that is hard to tear your eyes off of.
Rounding out the line-up of the band is Max Senteney on drums. I have to be honest, it’s hard to keep your eyes on Max with everything else going on on stage and the larger-than-life personalities of both Rev. Peyton and Breezy but, without Max, this band just wouldn’t be the same. His drumming approach is fairly laid back but it comes with a sense of power. The few glimpses I did get of him were all smiles. Much like the other two members of this band, it’s clear that Max loves what he does.
Obviously, I had a great time with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and could continue talking about them for at least a hundred more paragraphs but I don’t want to keep you all day and I still have to explain to you the magic that was opening act Jeremy Short. Jeremy took the stage wearing a feather boa, a tie-dye shirt, a backward baseball hat, and round sunglasses. Why am I telling you this? Well, because it was absolutely a look and it alone grabbed my attention as my buddy and I were sitting there trying to finish our dinner up quickly. Joined on stage by a fabulous band, it quickly became clear that the outlandish outfit (sorry, Jeremy) was not a gimmick at all because, well, Jeremy didn’t need a gimmick. His absolutely stunning guitar playing would have been more than enough to catch my attention alone. Jeremy’s sound matched that of Rev. Peyton’s perfectly without impeding on their sound. A more straight-up Memphis, Tennessee sound, complete with a flawless cover of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”, the entire audience quickly warmed up to his sound and overall vibe. Opening for an act as powerful as Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has to be intimidating but Jeremy Short held his own and then some.
I’ll be honest, the drive home after the show wasn’t any better than the drive there and it was white knuckles all the way home for me but it was so completely worth it.