It's not clear whether Reverend Peyton actually is an ordained minister or just likes the moniker, but his Delta-blues-meets-moonshine-fired-hillbilly songs are undeniably sermon-like, with an all-or-nothing fire-and-brimstone delivery. Then again, all that hootin' and hollerin' also makes him sound like a man possessed. In any case, it's the spirit of music that moves this Big Damn Band from Brown County, Indiana, on their new album, Between the Ditches. The band runs through a gamut of styles made more "authentic" (in the way the music is a sort of time warp to a distant era) via a slew of vintage amps, guitars, and mics, tackling fuzzy North Mississippi hill-country rants (à la R.L. Burnside) to Robert Johnson-styled low-down acoustic blues; from back-porch Appalachian chanteys to revved-up hillbilly shakedowns. And though the music gets you moving — and in concert, the band is as incendiary as it gets — the lyrics that encapsulate everyday life from an all-too-real rural perspective get you smiling. "The money goes . . . up her nose," "It's too dang hot and the bugs are too dang mean," and "I've been everywhere . . . I broke down there" just tell it like it is — somewhere else, anyway. — Glenn BurnSilver
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