— By Marie Taylor
— Photos by Ryan Ledesma
It was a fun and entertaining night at Off Broadway as the bands The Fog Lights and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band kept the crowd engaged with some eclectic and bluesy music.
Right across from iconic Lemp brewery, Off Broadway is a repurposed old garage that provides a surprisingly intimate atmosphere and an open space with direct access to the performance. That access and intimacy was perfect for an engaging group like Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and I found myself enjoying the night more because of the great space that the bar/concert venue provides.
Kicking off the night was the St. Louis band, The Fog Lights. I am always amazed at the amount of small, talented bands that St. Louis produces, and I can see these musicians finding their own unique niche in that category. It’s hard to place the sound coming from this group, but the words “alternative folk” would probably be the best way to describe them.
The band consists of three men, two of whom play acoustic guitars and sing while the third plays violin. Although the singers alternate between taking the lead on different songs, the strength of their singing really came from their harmonizing moments. What truly caught my attention during this trio’s performance was the violin player, although fiddler might be a more appropriate term. He gave this group a unique, Americana sound, and I think it’s his contributions that will help them stand out in the future.
The Fog Lights Set List:
To Be Young
Could This Be
Lead the Way
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band was the real treat of the night, and I came away from this performance ready to hear more from this unique group. Advertised as a country/blues group, the sound from this trio is far more eclectic and original than that description provides, but you can hear the influence of either genre in the music they create.
Reverend Peyton is the lead singer and guitar player, and man, does this performer blow you away with his talent. His voice might be country, but his playing is pure blues. I guarantee that you’ll be mesmerized by his incredible guitar skills, especially when he pulls out his 1934 Resonator guitar and takes you back in time with a classic blues tune. His performance was electric, his guitar collection was desirable, and I enjoyed how much he engaged with the audience for every song. Did I mention that he plays a guitar made from an axe?
Included in the “Big Damn Band” was the Reverend’s wife, Breezy, who adds to the country vibe of the group by playing a washboard with thimble gloves. Having never heard a washboard used in a live band, I loved the unique rhythm it gave, completely adding to the authenticity of each vintage song.
Providing some more energetic rhythm for the group was Max Senteney on the drums. I have a feeling that if you set down a bunch of phone books in front of the man, he’d still find a way to play them hard and make it sound like a classic drum kit. This “Big Damn Band” might just be a trio, but they make enough sound for 15 musicians on stage.
I’ve never heard anything like the music coming from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and this performance was just as rare of an experience. Off Broadway was packed with fans of the band, and after seeing them live I can understand why. The performance was heartfelt, the music was both good and unique, and I loved the overall experience that this band provides. St. Louis loved Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and now I do too.
Photo gallery after setlist.
Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band Set List:
Something – Nothing
What U Did
Judge a Book