15 July 2008

Gettin' HIGH Part II: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band @ HIGHland Park

Early afternoon Saturday I headed over to Highland Park for the My Big Rib BBQ and Blues Fest. It was a ribs competition that also featured a pretty damn good music lineup. And it was a beautiful hot and sunny summer day, what could be better? Wait a minute, is it about to rain? I arrived after the Reverend Peyton and his band, I mean, and his Big Damn Band of three, were already underway. I scanned the BBQ vendors, all sporting lengthy lines, and walked straight up to the small stage where the band was playing to about a dozen or so people. This was their early set, they had one more set later in the day after a couple of other bands, and then played another set the next day. I would be missing the later set to go catch Phil and Friends who also happened to be playing at the Highland Park just down the street.

So you've heard of freak folk right? Well, this music was hick folk. Total backwoods get down and get dirty music. They're the type of band that replaces the tom with a pickle bucket. They're the type of band that has a full time washboard player. They're the type of band that can tell a story about seeing their cousin on Cops and you believe every minute of it. And it was a song too, with the oh so clever title of Your Cousin is on Cops. Great song. Reverend Peyton leads the band with his wife on washboard, and his brother on drums and pickle bucket. He plays guitar and harmonica, and (eat your heart out Charlie Hunter) he plays bass lines with his thumb. He shows off his guitar playing prowess in this clip: (not sure why this came out so damn dark)

Then the rains came and they came hard. The small crowd all huddled in as close to the stage as possible to get in under the tent as best we could. But the rain came in sideways and the crew scrambled to get their stuff covered. "Washboard" Breezy got shocked from her mic while Reverend Peyton worked out some technical difficulties. They eked out one more tune before calling it a day, or at least a set. I totally dug these guys, keep an eye out for them for sure.

After that I went to check out the BBQ. I sampled 3 different rib offerings, all pretty tasty. I was partial to Willingham's personally... the other 2 were heavily doused in their too-sweet-for-my-taste sauces. In between rib gorging I caught a little of the local outfit Po Boys Brass Band. They sported a four trombone attack on the frontline which is their trademark. They ripped through a bunch of New Orleans favorites including Cissy Strut and a Blues for Ben. Pretty sweet having such a good New Orleans-style brass band so close to home. And with my belly full I set off to get my Phil. (and Levon...)

Stay tuned for Gettin' HIGH Part III

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