The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band routinely stands out in a lineup.
The country blues band often finds itself playing events like the Vans Warped Tour, alongside punk acts, or last year’s 80/35 Music Festival where it shared a stage with Girl Talk and Galactic. The band’s down-home style may initially seem out of place at such fests, but always seems to win over new fans.
“We just make sure we’re giving it 100 percent every single show. No one is not going to get the full show,” said the Reverend J (Josh) Peyton, who will play Thursday at Wooly’s. “It’s real from-the-heart music played with intensity. I don’t think that has a genre, or can go out of style.”
The Big Damn Band is actually kind of small, just Peyton, his wife Breezy on washboard and bucket drummer Aaron Persinger. Peyton plays with a finger-picking style that lets him play multiple guitar parts at the same time, giving the Damn Band its big sound.
This week the band releases its eighth album, “Between the Ditches.” In the past Peyton and his band recorded in a mostly live style (last year’s “Peyton on Patton” was recorded in just four hours). “Between the Ditches” is the band’s first attempt at making a traditional studio album.
“I wanted to make a record, not just a recording,” Peyton said of the switch. “I wanted to think about everything from the sound of the snare to the speakers my guitar was being run through. I wanted to make sure it was all exactly the way I wanted it to be. I felt the songs deserved it.
“In the past, going into the studio has felt almost like a burden. More like work than playing live. But because we gave ourselves the option of more time and to spend time on what worked, it felt like we ended up with a more organic record. We definitely had more fun making it than we ever had before.”
The songs on “Between the Ditches” have a common thread between them: the truth. Peyton said he only writes true songs. The result is darker songs (“Devils Look Like Angels”) and more lighthearted numbers (“Shut the Screen”) sharing space on the same disc.
“To me, life is happiness, sadness, anger, love and everything,” Peyton said. “I might write a song about food one minute or something social or topical the next. It’s whatever strikes my fancy. I’ll never tie myself down to one kind of thing. I could never understand just writing love songs. I write about life as I see it.”
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St.
Cost: $15 in advance, $17 at the door