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Photo by Tyler Zoller

Photo by Tyler Zoller

Photo by Tyler Zoller

Photo by Tyler Zoller

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The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

May 23 , 2018 · STAGE DOOR THEATER at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Prices begin at $22.50

Presented by: Blumenthal Performing Arts

  • Box Office: (704) 372-1000
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The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

May 23 , 2018 · STAGE DOOR THEATER at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Prices begin at $22.50

Presented by: Blumenthal Performing Arts

BROWN COUNTY, Ind. — Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.  

That passionate inspiration has made Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band America’s foremost country blues outfit and fuels the Rev’s new release, The Front Porch Sessions. Peyton’sdazzling guitar mastery is equaled here by his knack for vivid, emotionally impactful songwriting, and his originals are matched in their authenticity by the deeply felt vintage blues tunes that he covers. The album showcases the Rev’s irrepressible personality while echoing the enduring spirit of such acoustic blues icons as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Furry Lewis, whose “When My Baby Left Me” receives a memorable reading.

The Front Porch Sessions will be released March 10, 2017 on Family Owned Records/Thirty Tigers.

“It started as a literal whim on my part, but it turned into something really special,” Reverend Peyton says of this new collection. “I wanted it to feel like you’re on my front porch. You can almost hear the wood creaking.”

The Front Porch Sessions maintains a potent level of intensity throughout, from the upbeat optimism of the album-opener “We Deserve aHappy Ending” to the blunt slice-of-life rural reality of “One More Thing” to the rollicking, playful swagger of “Shakey Shirley,” “One Bad Shoe” and “Cornbread and Butterbeans.”Meanwhile, the instrumentals “It’s All Night Long” and “Flying Squirrels” demonstrate the Rev’s nimble, imaginative guitar work.

“I didn’t have much planned when I went into the studio,” the Reverend notes. “I went into the studio with some new songs and some old songs that I’ve always wanted to try. At first, I thought ‘Well, maybe we’ll make it a download or release a single.’ But it took on a life of its own, and when it was all said and done, I was as proud of it as anything I’ve ever done. To me, it was a lesson in not overthinking things; I just went in and let my gut guide me.

“We recorded this album at a studio called Farm Fresh, which is right down the street from my house,” he continues. “It’s in the shade of the oldest poplar tree in Indiana, and there’s a graveyard next to it and train tracks run across there.  In fact, I think you can hear the train on one track on this record. The studio’s in an old church, and the main sanctuary is the tracking room, so the haunting reverb that you hear is that room.  

“We used a lot of vintage gear in the recording. I love that organic sound, and I’m always chasing that in everything I do.  I just like things that feel timeless. Feeling timeless to me is way more important than feeling old. When you try to make something sound old, you’re trying too hard.’

That lifelong pursuit of musical authenticity was instilled in his musical consciousness while Peyton was growing up in rural Indiana, where his early love for blues, ragtime, folk, country and other traditional styles gave him a sense of direction that would soon manifest itself in his own music. He and the Big Damn Band won a large and loyal fan base, thanks to their tireless touring efforts and high-energy showmanship, along with such acclaimed albums as Big Damn Nation, The Gospel Album, The Whole Fam Damnily, The Wages, Between the Ditches, So Delicious and the Charlie Patton tribute disc Peyton on Patton. 

Despite his prior achievements, the Rev views The Front Porch Sessions as a personal creative milestone. 

“This record’s very personal for me, because so much of it is just me,” he says. “The Big Damn Band is on there, but it’s mostly me. Breezy (Breezy Peyton, washboard) plays washboard on a couple of songs, and Max (Maxwell Senteney, drums) plays a suitcase drum set that we put together in the studio. It’s a snapshot of the week we spent in the studio, but it also represents a lifetime of me building up to it.”

The Front Porch Sessions has also spawned a series of audio-vérité companion videos, many of them shot on the Rev’s actual front porch, that embody the album’s intimacy and immediacy.  “A lot of these songs started on the porch, and that’s what the videos are,” he says. “I’d be pickin’ and go, ‘I like the way this sounds, let me get my camera.’”

Reverend Peyton has already begun to integrate The Front Porch Sessions’ spare approach into the Big Damn Band’s expansive live shows, which are renowned for their intensity and abandon.

“In a lot of our shows in the past few years, we’ll take a break and I’ll come out and do a song or two by myself,” he explains. “That brings things down and allows me to do some songs like this.  We’re definitely gonna be doing more of that, so there’s definitely gonna be moments in the shows where you’re gonna hear a lot of these songs. We may also do some Front Porch Sessions shows, and maybe present some of our other songs in a more stripped-down way. We did one earlier this year as kind of a test, and that worked really well.

“Over the years, our shows have gotten more dynamic,” he continues. “The ups are more up and the downs are more down. That’s something that’s important to me. If I go and see a show and someone’s just standing there and staring at their feet and singing their songs, I feel insulted. That’s not a performance. I want to know that you’re living that song, not just regurgitating it. I don’t think artists should seem like they’re too cool for their audience.”

The Rev’s dedication to delivering the goods on stage is reflected in his flamboyant performance persona. “The Rev is me,” he states. “Sometimes that freaks people out, because the person who’s on stage is exactly the way I am offstage. I don’t know how to separate myself from my music, because it’s so personal to me. My mom calls me Rev; it’s been my nickname since I was a teenager. It was a name that was given to me by some friends, and it sort of stuck.

“I’m one of those people who feels everything really hard, for better or worse,” he continues. “If I’m angry, I’m really angry. If I’m sad, I’m really sad. If I’m happy, I’m really happy. So onstage, I tap into that. There are certain songs that I can’t play on some nights, because they’re just too sad. That may be the rantings of a crazy person, but it’s the God’s honest truth.”

With The Front Porch Sessions showcasing his expanded musical palette, Reverend Peyton is excited about bringing his new music to his fans.

“I really think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done,” he asserts. “I’m interested in making hand-made American music, and the goal is to be timeless.”

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Performance Schedule

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$15 Student Ticket Available In Advance and Night of Show

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Parking and Directions

A special preferred parking rate of only $5* is available for our patrons in our designated garage.
Bank of America Center Parking Garage
Enter on Trade or 5th Streets between N. College and N. Brevard Streets. 

The $5 rate is applicable when parked in the garage after 5pm on weekdays, Mon – Fri. If parked in the garage before 5pm, the $5 rate is void. There is no time restriction for the weekend, Sat & Sun.

Getting and Using Your Parking Pass When You Arrive

  1. Pull the garage entry ticket when you arrive at the designated garage. You will need this to exit!
  2. Purchase a $5 Blumenthal exit pass at the theater or click here to purchase in advance online. If you would rather purchase by phone, please call 704.335.1010*

When You Exit

  1. Insert your garage entry ticket into the yellow slot. Amount due will display on the screen.
  2. Insert your Blumenthal exit pass in the same yellow slot, with arrow pointing at slot.
  3. Gate arm will rise and screen will display “drive safely.”

*Pre-paid parking is not available day of show.

CLICK HERE to Purchase your Parking Exit Pass in Advance

CLICK HERE for parking information for Spirit Square events. (McGlohon Theater, Duke Energy Theater)

CLICK HERE for parking information for Knight Theater events.

Accessibility

Advance reservations for Patron Assistance are encouraged to ensure the best possible experience!

  • Assistive listening systems available
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Wheelchair seating
  • Limited booster seats available at Belk Theater.

Wheelchair access
All of our theaters and classrooms are accessible to patrons who use wheelchairs. Most restrooms and water fountains in all facilities are wheelchair accessible, and restrooms are equipped with strobe-light as well as audio alarm systems. A wheelchair accessible "unisex" restroom on the Belk Theater's Grand Tier level accommodates persons who may need assistance from a spouse or companion of the opposite sex. Ask an usher for the location.

Entry and exit assistance
For performances in the Belk Theater, an usher can meet patrons who need assistance at the corner of Tryon and 5th Streets or valet parking on Tryon. If you wish to receive this service, please contact the Box Office at least 2 days prior to the performance to make these arrangements.

SERVICES FOR THE VISUALLY-IMPAIRED

Audio Description
Certain performances will be audio described for the blind or visually impaired. The Box Office will provide a schedule of these performances upon request. Audio description provides an on-going oral description of the action, sets and costumes during the performance. Each participant wears a headset, and no other patrons are able to hear the descriptions. For Belk Theater performances, patrons can pick up headsets at the coat check in the Grand Tier Lobby.

Large Print Programs
Large print programs are available for patrons at many performances. At Belk Theater, assistance is available at the coat check in the Grand Tier Lobby.

Service Animals
If you or someone in your party plans to attend an event with a service animal, please inform the Box Office when purchasing your tickets so that we may arrange for an aisle seat.

SERVICES FOR THE DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING

Interpreting
Certain performances at the Performing Arts Center will be interpreted for the hearing impaired. The Box Office will provide a schedule of these performances as requested. There will be one Sign Interpreted and Audio Described performance in each Broadway Lights engagement on a Sunday at 2pm.

Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening equipment is available free of charge for all amplified performances. Please see an usher for assistance. In Belk Theater, headsets may be checked out from the coat check located in the Grand Tier.

Communication Devices
TTY/TOO is available on the Mezzanine Level of the Belk Theater near the entrance from Founders Hall.

Group Sales

10% discount on 10 or more plus one comp ticket.