The joke about the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band during the past three years is that it's all of three members.
But on the rootsy Indiana group's new album, "So Delicious," Reverend J. Peyton and company, who play Friday, Feb. 27, at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, are sounding bigger than ever -- by design.
"I'm really proud of this one. It's a big step forward," says Peyton, who produced as well as wrote all the songs on "So Delicious." "Our first records were almost like afterthoughts, like field recordings -- go in, set up, play the songs and 'OK, let's go get some food.' It wasn't really thought out, and not because we were lazy about it or didn't want them to sound good, just because we always though of ourselves as being a live band, and records is just something we do to capture what we do live.
"With this one I had a plan. I wanted to explore every option that we had at our disposal to make the songs come to life. I wanted to feel like maybe a band like Bo Diddley had at Chess Records, like if they had set down the records and we came in and picked up the instruments and started playing. That's what we were going for here."
There were other stakes for Peyton, his wife "Washboard" Breezy Peyton and percussionist Ben "Bird Dog" Bussell with "So Delicious." The trio is the first new band signed to the reactivated Yazoo Records label, a legendary imprint that once released albums by many of Peyton's heroes. The signing, he acknowledges, invested in the group a certain standard of quality for the album, too.
"Man, it's just really cool," he says. "Yazoo has been a label I've been in love with as a fan of old country blues my whole life. When they came to us it was kind of a unique idea, and what really sold us was how passionate they were about the music, about seeing that our vision came to life.
"They're just a great label, and like kindred spirits. There's very few people on this planet that have a knowledge and love for the same stuff that I do out there. They say 'yes' to me an awful lot. You can't really ask for more than that, y'know?"
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and Behind The Times
Friday, Feb. 27. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.
Tickets are $18.
Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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