The new album from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Dance Songs for Hard Times, is scheduled for independent release April 9, 2021 via Thirty Tigers.
Ahead of that, the band released a video (“Ways and Means”) last month and a second single, “Too Cool to Dance,”on March 9.
Of the “Ways and Means” song and video, Rev. Peyton explains: “It’s a personal song, like all of my songs, but the song ‘Ways and Means’ is written for all those folks that have the moves, the style, the substance, the talent, but maybe not the seed money or the famous last name. All those people that had to work extra hard, because they didn’t get to start way ahead. Folks that have been playing catch up since they were born, and had to get really good just to make it to zero. The idea for the video was born from the lyrics, but also as a wink and a nod to those folks that know what it’s like inside of a Laundromat. There could be a lot of magic hidden inside the people that you interact with in places like a Laundromat, and my hope was to convey that.”
“‘Too Cool to Dance,’” he says, “might be interpreted as the album’s centerpiece for its message of not taking things for granted. The seize-the-moment anthem offers the chorus, ‘We may not get another chance. Oh, please don’t tell me you’re too cool to dance.’ I was thinking about all the times where I’ve been somewhere and felt too cool to dance. I didn’t want to be that way. Not being able to do anything last year, I had this feeling of, ‘Man, I’m not going to waste any moment like this in my life — ever.’”
The album as a whole 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 in “Ways and Means” and “Dirty Hustlin’.” He pines for in-person reunions with loved ones on “No Tellin’ When,” and 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.
“I like songs that sound happy but are actually very sad,” Peyton says. “I don’t know why it is, but I just do.”
Of course, the greatest front-porch blues band in the world found itself sidelined from a relentless touring schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic. Peyton says he was surprised when his mind and soul unleashed a batch of new songs in March and April of 2020.
The band has also announced a late spring tour, emphasizing safety first: “The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band takes the safety of our fans very seriously. Our commitment to your safety requires masks to be worn for entry, maintaining social distances, podded seating where necessary and reduced capacities. Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to seeing you at a show again soon.”
TOUR DATES (on sale now):
Thurs., April 15 NASHVILLE, TN City Winery – outdoors
Sat., April 17 CLARKSDALE, MS Juke Joint Festival Ground Zero
Sun., April 18 CLARKSDALE, MS Juke Joint Festival Cat Head - outdoors
Thurs., April 22 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads - outdoors
Fri., April 23 COLUMBIA, MO Rose Park - outdoors
Sat., April 24 ST LOUIS, MO Big Top - outdoors
Sat., May 15 OAK HILL, WV New River Gorge Festival - outdoors
Fri., May 21 CINCINNATI, OH Riverfront Live - outdoors
Sat., May 22 INDIANAPOLIS, IN Hi Fi Annex - outdoors
Get tickets here: https://www.bigdamnband.com/shows