The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

There aren't a lot of Warped Tour vets who can claim proficiency in the use of washboards, bottleneck slides and five-gallon buckets. Most didn't spend their teens playing along to Charlie Patton and Bukka White albums. And just about none are fronted by a commissioned member of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels.

But the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, who appeared for two weeks on the 2009 Warped Tour and will be on the entire 2010 tour, are all that and more. With wild sing-a-longs and flaming washboards, their live shows have been converting skeptics left and right.

Now, with the May 25 release of "The Wages," the soulful, swinging country-blues trio proves they're more than just a world class live band. Their second album for SideOneDummy Records, it was produced by Paul Mahern (Zero Boys, John Mellencamp) and recorded in the band's Big Damn Tradition: live in the studio with no overdubs on honest-to-goodness analog tape.

Appropriate to our times, "The Wages" is thematically rooted in the blues tradition of hard-bitten reality matched with enduring optimism.

There are songs that deal with crystal meth abuse and the disappearance of the American family farm ("In a Holler Over There"), the cost of living ("Everything's Raising"), unrequited love ("Sure Feels Like Rain") and, of course, murder ("Lick Creek Road").

But the Reverend's brood also celebrates rural life on "Born Bred Corn Fed," serves up danceable sing-a-longs like "Clap Your Hands," and offers renewed hope for hard times in "Just Getting By."

The Big Damn Band is very much a family affair, with the good reverend on finger-style resonator guitar and lead vocals, his wife "Washboard" Breezy Peyton on washboard and vocals, and distant cousin Aaron "Cuz" Persinger on drums and bucket. The band's home base is deep in the hills of Southern Indiana's Brown County, which boasts a population of 14,957. (Or 14,954 when the band's out on the road playing close to 250 gigs a year, including appearances at the Austin City Limits festival and tours with Flogging Molly, Derek Trucks, and Clutch.)

"I grew up in the country, and rural life and rural culture has shaped me and my music," says Reverend Peyton, who really is a Kentucky Colonel, just like Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and Tiger Woods. "I have been playing music since I was a little kid. I am pretty sure we are on to something now."

That combination of authenticity and originality is evident throughout "The Wages," driven by the trio's big damn vocals and melodies, gutbucket guitar playing, and foot-stomping rhythms, all in service of songs that are honest and moving, devoid of irony or artifice.

"We may be few in numbers, but we sound big," says Washboard Breezy. "And I think we stand for something big too. Even if sometimes it's just that it is okay to be a regular person."

Matthew Curry

Seemingly out of nowhere (but actually out of America’s heartland), Matthew Curry is already creating a serious buzz in 2014. Fresh off a six-city tour with the Steve Miller Band this spring, this rising star from Normal, IL has already seen rock star-like standing ovations this year at key festivals both here and abroad, and the lines for his autograph at the merchandise booths are longer than most headliners.  Even Steve Miller took to Matthew right away, inviting him to sit in every night on their tour, and calling Matthew a “…wonderful guitar player, great songwriter; in the Stevie Ray Vaughan area of virtuosity and originality. He’s really great.” –Huffington Post


Matthew and his rare combination of youth and maturity have been taking audiences, and the music industry, by surprise with his triple-threat talents of compelling songwriting, dynamic vocals, and incendiary guitar work. Having just turned 19 years old, Matthew has already been adopted by Fender Guitars and Guitar Center into their exclusive “Brotherhood of The Guitar” (http://brotherhoodoftheguitar.com/?team=matthew-curry). Making the crowd reactions even more notable is the fact that Matthew’s set is comprised of all original material. His songs have a classic feel and people are responding immediately to the emotional power of the songs and the excitement of Matthew and his band’s strong delivery.  

Watch for Matthew this summer as he tours arenas around the country opening for The Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton, and on other major festivals and headline shows. The time is now to see this young talent as he starts his march across the national, and international, stage.


“Kid can shout like Joe Cocker, play guitar like a young Jeff Beck and rock like he’s still inside his first pair of shoes.” – Edmonton Sun

“…an authentic blend of original Southern rock, British blues and Jimi Hendrix...” - Rockwrite

Chicago Farmer sings on the title track of Backenforth, IL, out January 22, 2013.  It’s the centerpiece of his sixth collection of Guthrie-inspired populist songs, as well as autobiographical. The son of a small town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow mid-westerner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80. “I love the energy, music, and creativity of Chicago, but at the same time, the roots and hard work of my small town,” he shares. Growing up in Delavan, IL with a population less than 2,000, Diekhoff’s grandparents were farmers, and their values have always provided the baseline of his songs. He writes music for the “kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way,” he says. “My generation may have been labeled as slackers, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work hard – many people I know put in 50-60 hours a week and 12 hour days. That’s what keeps me playing. I don’t like anyone to be left out; my music is for everyone in big and very small towns.” He listened to punk rock and grunge as a kid before discovering a friend’s dad playing Hank Williams, and it was a revelation. Prine and Guthrie quickly followed. The name Chicago Farmer was originally for a band, but the utilitarian life of driving alone from bar to bar, city to city – to make a direct connection to his audience and listener, took a deeper hold. Songs like “Workin’ On It,” are the kind of sing-a-longs he’s known for; it’s become common to see whole rooms full of strangers erupt and sing to the choruses of his songs on first listen. While “The Twenty Dollar Bill” is more sentimental, reminding everyone of that time their own Grandma surreptitiously passed along a little cash to hang onto. Chicago Farmer plans to continue touring relentlessly to support the new album. With Backenforth IL, he solidifies that wherever he is, that’s where he belongs, that’s where the songs will be written and sung, and that’s where the music will be played.

Edward David Anderson

Edward David Anderson is an artist as ancient as he is modern. In a time when the music business desperately flails about, grasping at any new trend that will save its sinking ship, he exists far outside its confines. Best known for his work with the revered Midwestern rock band Backyard Tire Fire who released a string of acclaimed albums in the previous decade, Anderson returns to the national stage with his highly anticipated solo debut, Lies & Wishes. Produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, it finds Anderson creating his own mythology through a collection of songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots. Anderson sings, "I'm the son of a plumber, from a God fearing mother." The lyric says much about where his story begins as an artist. He was born and raised just west of Chicago and lives a simple life, spending winters in an RV alongside the Gulf of Mexico in lower Alabama. Anderson's an American songwriter on an existential quest who seeks and who searches through song.

"I feel like every experience, every mile, every interaction, every tune, sort of got me to where I am at this moment," Anderson recounts while shedding light on the over-arching theme that ties together the 10-track collection. "The songs on the record are confessional by nature. They are songs about loss and love and living and hope. Halfway through my life, it's an honest look in the mirror."

Anderson's journey over the last five years and his response to the challenges he faced is what sets the lifers apart from those that concede the artistic pursuit. The dissolution of Backyard Tire in 2011 was the first obstacle to overcome. The band had built a devout cult following around the U.S., counting Cracker, Reverend Horton Heat and Clutch among their fans, all of whom took BTF on the road exposing them to a wider audience. It was around this time that Steve Berlin of Los Lobos was first drawn to Anderson's songwriting.

“Backyard Tire Fire opened a show for us and I remember being backstage and listening to their music and I was like, ‘Wow, that song sounds really familiar. Whose cover is that? It’s a classic tune,’” says Berlin. “It turns out that they were all Ed’s originals. They just had that instantly memorable quality to them. So, I introduced myself at the show and we became buddies and then collaborators. Ed’s music is so evocative, so well written. I honestly think he is as talented as anyone in the songwriting world and it is important that he be heard.”

Anderson adds: "I was just starting to get back on the road again after Tire Fire split, touring with my friend Johnny Hickman and I got inspired to get back in the studio. I had these songs and had something pretty interesting to say based on the experiences I just went through. I knew if I could get Steve Berlin involved, who is an old friend that I’ve worked with in the past, it could be something special.”

It was just prior to this that Anderson's mother passed away, while the previous winter his wife lost her mother, both to extended illnesses. It was a defining moment for the 40-year old artist and culminated in a torrent of songwriting. Indeed, songs like "Lies & Wishes" "Lost & Found" and "Chain Reaction" delve deep into the human condition, asking difficult questions of himself and his loved ones.

“A lot of the subject matter on this record came from reflecting on these painful experiences” says Anderson. "After losing my mom, I decided I’ve got to make a record and dedicate it to her and make a statement here on my own."

Musically speaking, the core of Lies & Wishes is built around refined melodies, acoustic guitars and sparse arrangements, yet Berlin's production colors the tracks with squalls of electric guitar, affected vocals, drum loops and assorted analog keyboard flourishes. It should also be noted that fans of Anderson’s vintage rock and roll songwriting from his Backyard Tire Fire days will find plenty to love on tunes like “Nothing Lasts Forever,” “Taking It Out On You” and “The Next Melody,” which deliver the big hooks and classic refrains on which he so effortlessly hangs his hat.

This is where we find Edward David Anderson today, on his debut full-length solo recording. His heart's on his sleeve and it's that of an artist. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but the songs demand to be written.

“I needed to make this album," concludes Anderson. "I feel like it's the beginning of the next chapter for me.”

The Neon Moonlighters

The Neon Moonlighters is a 3 piece acoustic string band that plays cover songs ranging from old standards to modern favorites, as well as a few original songs.

Electroplated

Drew and Joe

Acoustic, Classic Rock, & Country with special guest vocalist, Samantha Rae

Chris Corkery

Born from the endless silo towns of the rural Midwest and it's fertile music scene, including Backyard Tire Fire and Chicago Farmer, comes singer/songwriter Chris Corkery. He is armed with a sound that is influenced by the beautiful heartbreak of singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt mixed with the roots-based rock of Alejandro Escovedo and Chuck Prophet. Chris has been playing backwoods honky-tonks and barrooms all around Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis for the last 10 years. His songs could be called "dusty roots pop" in some cases, but above all, the vibe and sound-scape he creates through the lyrical stories and melodies of his songs is something all of it's own. From cutting his teeth as frontman of the Bloomington, IL., heartland rock group "The Dirty Hands Band," Chris has forged ahead in his solo outings to create something heartfelt and unique that stands out from his peers in the Midwest music scene.

$25.00

Tickets

The Castle Theatre is a proud supporter of Nook Fest, but this event will NOT be held at The Castle Theatre. The All-Day Concert will be located at The Shady Nook, (310 South Center Street in Saybrook, IL. For more information, please call 309-475-2021

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1st Annual Nook Fest: Made In The Shade with The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Matthew Curry, Chicago Farmer, Edward David Anderson, The Neon ...

Saturday, August 10 · 12:00 PM at The Castle Theatre