Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band opens Levitt season Thursday



Dayton has been a regular tour stop for Reverend Peyton (vocals, guitar) and his wife Breezy (washboard, vocals) since forming the Big Damn Band 20 years ago. The Indiana-based country blues group, which also features Max Senteney (drums), is the perfect act to open another wonderfully eclectic summer concert season at Levitt Pavilion Dayton on Thursday, June 1.

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is not your average blues act. For starters, consider its unique instrumentation. Peyton delivers a mesmerizing mix of fingerpicking and slide playing on a resonator guitar, backed by Breezy’s washboard work, and Senteney’s kit, augmented by an upturned syrup bucket. Other distinguishing factors include the group’s distinctive retro look, humorous songs and energetic stage show.

“Dance Songs for Hard Times,” the Big Damn Band’s most recent album, came out in April 2021. It was the group’s 10th full-length LP and the follow-up to “Poor Until Payday” (2018). More recently, the group has released non-album singles like “Run Rudolph Run,” “Wolfman Can’t Come” and “Banty Rooster Blues.”



Reverend Peyton recently answered some questions ahead of the group’s appearance.

Q: I remember when the band was first playing at the now defunct Canal Street Tavern nearly 20 years ago. It’s great you’ve been able to keep a relationship with Dayton and the fans. How does it feel to return to town to perform?

A: We can’t wait. We’ve had amazing times in Dayton through the years. They have been just incredible shows. I don’t know if we’ve ever done anything quite like the Levitt shows in Dayton before. Those are unique anyway, we’re talking free, all ages and outdoors. I don’t know the last time we did an outdoor show in Dayton. It’s pretty incredible, really.

Q: Have you played other Levitt locations?

A: We’ve played a handful of them. It’s too bad every community can’t be blessed with a music venue and foundation that is bringing artists to where families and anybody can come see shows for free in the sunshine. We love the Levitt Pavilions around the country. We really appreciate what they’re doing and we’re just super excited to be doing one in Dayton.

Watch the official music video for “Rattle Can” from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band:

Q: You have dates coming up in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other spots. When were you last in Europe?

A: This will be the first time we’re able to get back since 2019. Everything kept getting canceled and that’s why the tour is so big and why it’s important. Normally we’d be in Europe every year at least once and sometimes a couple of times a year. There’s a lot going on with logistics because it has been so many years. There are a lot of moving parts on the European tour, more so than in the United States.

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: It’s always great to go anywhere where people want to hear your music but there’s something special about going to the far reaches of the planet and find fans there. That’s always incredible. The UK has become one of our biggest places to play.



Q: Are you working on new music?

A: We’ve been releasing singles since our last full-length record came out last year. Some are holiday themed or this and that. We got set up during COVID to do a lot more recording at our place. We’ve got some on the horizon we’ve recorded that we’re going to be rolling out this year. We also recorded an entire acoustic album. We’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do with that and how it’s going to be finished. I’ve been working on the next regular full-length Big Damn Band record too, so I’ve been super busy. I’ve been kind of inspired.

Q: What sparked the inspiration?

A: I really get inspired by the people. The fans fire me up so going out this year and experiencing the support from our fans has been uplifting to say the least. The shows have been so good. It feels like things are really moving, rocking and rolling. It has been reinvigorating. I can’t hardly put my damn guitar down. I feel like I’m more obsessed with stuff now than I ever have been.

Q: Anything we missed?

A: No, but Dayton truly is one of our favorite places to play. Our fan base there is awesome. There are certain places we go in the world where we love to play, and Dayton really is one of them and that’s because of the fans. For this tour, we’re playing songs from every record we’ve put out plus all kinds of new stuff people haven’t heard before and we’ll have some unique twists. We’ve pulled out all the stops and we’re having a ton of fun doing it.

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Who: Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Where: Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St., Dayton

When: Thursday, June 1 at 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

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