The latest album from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band was written by candlelight and then recorded using the best technology available . . . in the 1950s.
But listeners won’t find another album as relevant, electrifying and timely as Dance Songs for Hard Times.
Dance Songs for Hard Times conveys the hopes and fears of pandemic living. Rev. Peyton, the Big Damn Band’s vocalist and world-class fingerstyle guitarist, details bleak financial challenges on the songs “Ways and Means” and “Dirty Hustlin’.” He pines for in-person reunions with loved ones on “No Tellin’ When,” and he pleads for celestial relief on the album-closing “Come Down Angels.”
Far from a depressing listen, Dance Songs lives up to its name by delivering action-packed riffs and rhythms across 11 songs. The country blues trio that won over crowds on more than one Warped Tour knows how to make an audience move.
For the past fifteen years, The Hooten Hallers have been crisscrossing the country as inveterate road warriors, bringing their peculiar vision of Americana–a fiery rock and roll fever dream birthed in Missouri’s fertile musical heartland. They’ve put so many miles into the road that they’ve burned through multiple tour vans and left twisted metal and frayed rubber strewn across the road behind them. With their aptly named new album, Back In Business Again, the trio roar back on to the international stage with ten incendiary new original songs drawn from their many travels and inspired by the hardships that all touring musicians have faced throughout a seemingly never-ending pandemic. There’s hope in these new songs, but tinges of madness too, driven by the raw drumming of Andy Rehm, the infernal growl and swirling guitars of John Randall, and the low rolling baritone and bass saxophones of Kellie Everett. The Hooten Hallers have always been musical colliders, smashing together everything from pre-war jazz to Chicago blues with jaunts around New Orleans and garage rock explorations with hints of anti-racist punk and Oi!. It’s Morphine meets ZZ Top along St. Louis’ Mississippi waterfront. Produced by bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White, Greensky Bluegrass), Back In Business Again takes a match to The Hooten Hallers’ fuse and explodes the renegade power trio to the edge and back again, one vigorous, swinging, perfectly peculiar song at a time.