Monday, September 27, 2010

Live Review: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Dante's, Portland
Friday, September 24th, 2010

Have you ever had scary looking folkster snarl at you while playing a bad-ass guitar? I hadn't either. Sir, you seem like the nicest guy in the world, but you still scare me.

Since most of you have never heard of this band, they are pretty simple to explain. Paul Bunyun traded his axe for a guitar and is joined by his wife playing the washboard, and a drummer who looks a bit like Joe Dirt after spending 21 days eating Voodoo maple bacon bars. They play a blend of blues, folk, and country, and are known for their entertaining song topics and shoutalongable lyrics.

Case in point, the second song of the set called, "Mama's Fried Potatoes," wherein the lyrics state, "I want to thank you all for the food you made us, but it doesn't hold a can to mama's friend potatoes," with the crowd screaming along to the lyric "fried potatoes." They later played, "Your Cousin's On Cops," which apparently is based on a true story, which makes the song about three levels higher on the hilarity scale. They are from Indiana after all, and I'm pretty sure the show "Cops" starting down south.

The Rev's unique booming voice, coupled with his guitar skills (including the slide) dominates the show. He has a signature move with the slide in which he uses the "woop, woop, woooooooh" to finish many solos, ala Zakk Wylde's scream on Ozzy's post Rhodes hits. Does it get old live, maybe a bit, but it's still entertaining, like when someone uses the same pick up line over and over, yet it works. I prefer the, "I can tell by the way you ordered your drink that you can't beat me in a thumb wrestling match, you love Justin Beiber, and your favorite color is grape." No need to break the ice when you can smash it (readers booing loudly). Okay, tough crowd. Moving on.

In between songs, The Rev talked about a review of a recent show that was sent to his publicist saying really nice things about the band, but claiming his beard was fake. I'm writing a review I won't send to his publicist, but my first thought about his beard was "epic." It's so epic, he asked a couple people in the front of the crowd to stroke it to validate is authenticity.

I think whoever wrote that review was a lot nicer than I am, because I owe it to my three fans to be honest. This band is extremely entertaining live, but is not one you want to spent two hours listening to, or watching. A 45 minute show will more than showcase everything they have to offer (so far), because they lose some of their dynamic after an hour.

They made up for any downtime at the end of their set, including a washboard solo. There is something inherently awesome about a washboard solo, right? Watching her play the instrument brought me back to the days in which my mother would rub my back and sing me to sleep, but in a non-boring way. To cement her status as one of the baddest washboard players alive, she lit the instrument on fire during the encore finale, "Two Bottles Of Wine," while the crowd chanted along to the chorus. And Rev, I mean this as a compliment, not a pass at your wife, because as mentioned earlier, you scare the shit out of me.

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