REVIEW: REVEREND PEYTON’S BG DAMN BAND – POOR UNTIL PAYDAY (2018)

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“I ain’t bad, I’m just ugly, if you knew me, Oh I know you’d love me. Cuz I am so good” so sings Reverend J Peyton on “So Good” – a magnificent song tucked away towards the middle of “Poor Until Payday”.

It does, though, capture the whole record perfectly.

Because, that right there is three things. 1) My new chat up line (that’s the most important bit to be honest) 2) the best chorus of the year (it is, face facts every other band) and 3) it is the perfect example of why Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band are one of the few bands that can genuinely claim to write songs that are unlike anyone else.

Anyone who has seen the Rev, Breezy and Max on drums swang their thang over the years knows they are a one off, and a one off who belongs on stage (where else, frankly could you see a woman set a washboard on fire every night?), but that neglects the fact that this damn band are pretty damn good in the studio too, and make no mistake, “…..Payday” is one of their very best.

Equal parts The Kentucky Headhunters and the “O Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, this is country blues straight from the front porch in Indiana.

“You Can’t Steal My Shine” starts us off like some gospel recital, fire and brimstone and praise be to whatever, it whips up a real storm, while “Dirty Swerve” will give them some sins to repent next Sunday too. Dirty? Nah, its blues of the most filthy variety. So nefarious does it sound that the devil ran from the crossroads in fear at the mere thought.

The title track is all the proof you need that quite apart from anything else Rev is a wonderful guitarist, and there is a rare chemistry when Mr and Mrs Peyton (The Rev and Breezy are husband and wife) get together to make sweet music – ok not sweet, but you get the point.

“Church Clothes” – all glorious slide guitar everywhere you turn – shows a more stripped-down side, but recalls maybe the work of Kelly Joe Phelps, or the late, great Chris Whitely.

But, mostly, as you’d want from the band, this is hoedowns all the way. “Get The Family Together” (“don’t wait for a funeral to get the family together” is a sentiment to which we can all relate?) whips up a storm. “Me And The Devil” – complete with some top washboard action – manages to sound menacing. “Me And The Devil are coming for you. If I get you first, it will be worse” offers Reverend J, here.

“Frenchman Street” will have anyone longing to go to New Orleans for a second line or two, “I Suffer I Get Tougher” is a stomping anthem for us all, surely? While “It Is Or It Ain’t” is just about as timeless as it gets. That is to say, it could have come out at any point in rock n roll’s history and sounded ace.

And if you’re still not sold – and shame on you if that’s the case – then think on this. In “So Good” not only is there that chorus but there’s this before the end. “I like gravy, it’s pretty tasty, but I don’t want gravy, I want barbecue.”

Come on, they’re spoiling us now.

Spend your wages on “Poor Until Payday.” The Reverend J Peyton – and me – command it.

Rating 9/10

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