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The Reverend Peyton revs up the sound a bit on latest album

For Journal Register Newspapers

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After taking a slightly different sonic direction on the new "Between the Ditches," Josh Peyton -- frontman and namesake of the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band -- says he's relieved that "it's been so well received. I think that, finally, people started to get where we're coming from."

But, he acknowledges, the rootsy Indiana trio has tried to meet those listeners halfway, too.

"Between the Ditches" is the group's most traditional studio recording yet. After making its predecessors in just a couple of days or even a matter of hours, the trio hunkered down in the studio for a longer period of time and even overdubbed some parts. It's a big change that Peyton and his Big Damn Bandmates -- his wife "Washboard" Breezy Peyton and cousin "Aaron "Cuz" Persinger -- didn't make lightly.

"When we first started out, man, everything was so overproduced and click-tracked and AutoTuned, it was like a joke," Peyton, 31, explains. "I wanted to be the opposite of that. In a world of saccharine and margarine, I wanted to be sugar and butter.

"But I let the pendulum shift too far to one side -- I'll admit that. I've learned over the years that we can make an organic, real record...that is not just simply a field recording. We can make it good and still sound right. So we set out to make a 'real' record this time."

It's certainly paid dividends. "Between the Ditches" hit No. 1 on the iTunes Blues Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Blues chart. The singles have gotten a modicum of radio play, while their videos have become viral sensations.

"I think before sometimes people just didn't understand us. They didn't get it," Peyton says. "Our fans always have, but I think outside of our core, loyal fans people were kind of like, 'Huh? I don't really understand what it is.'

"So this record flipped a switch for a lot of people; 'Oh, I get it. I can understand.'

"I think we're closer to where we've always wanted to be now. We're playing music we love, and it doesn't sound crazy, or as crazy to all those folks we weren't connecting with before."

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band performs Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-540-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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