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The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band: Hi-energy Country Blues~ There aren’t a lot of Warped Tour vets who can claim proficiency in the use of washboards, bottleneck slides and five-gallon buckets. Most didn’t spend their teens playing along to Charlie Patton and Bukka White albums. And just about none are fronted by a commissioned member of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels. But the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, who appeared for two weeks on the 2009 Warped Tour and will be on the entire 2010 tour, are all that and more. With wild sing-a-longs and flaming washboards, their live shows have been converting skeptics left and right. Now, with the May 25 release of “The Wages,” the soulful, swinging country-blues trio proves they’re more than just a world class live band. Their second album for SideOneDummy Records, it was produced by Paul Mahern (Zero Boys, John Mellencamp) and recorded in the band’s Big Damn Tradition: live in the studio with no overdubs on honest-to-goodness analog tape. Appropriate to our times, “The Wages” is thematically rooted in the blues tradition of hard-bitten reality matched with enduring optimism. There are songs that deal with crystal meth abuse and the disappearance of the American family farm (“In a Holler Over There”), the cost of living (“Everything’s Raising”), unrequited love (“Sure Feels Like Rain”) and, of course, murder (“Lick Creek Road”). But the Reverend’s brood also celebrates rural life on “Born Bred Corn Fed,” serves up danceable sing-a-longs like “Clap Your Hands,” and offers renewed hope for hard times in “Just Getting By.” The Big Damn Band is very much a family affair, with the good reverend on finger-style resonator guitar and lead vocals, his wife “Washboard” Breezy Peyton on washboard and vocals, and distant cousin Aaron “Cuz” Persinger on drums and bucket. The band’s home base is deep in the hills of Southern Indiana’s Brown County, which boasts a population of 14,957. (Or 14,954 when the band’s out on the road playing close to 250 gigs a year, including appearances at the Austin City Limits festival and tours with Flogging Molly, Derek Trucks, and Clutch.) “I grew up in the country, and rural life and rural culture has shaped me and my music,” says Reverend Peyton, who really is a Kentucky Colonel, just like Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers and Tiger Woods. “I have been playing music since I was a little kid. I am pretty sure we are on to something now.” That combination of authenticity and originality is evident throughout “The Wages,” driven by the trio’s big damn vocals and melodies, gutbucket guitar playing, and foot-stomping rhythms, all in service of songs that are honest and moving, devoid of irony or artifice. “We may be few in numbers, but we sound big,” says Washboard Breezy. “And I think we stand for something big too. Even if sometimes it’s just that it is okay to be a regular person.”
Eight years of writing, recording and touring around the world in punk rock bands might harden the soul of many a young musician, but for Marc Orrell the experience forged a musical maturity and sparked a longing for a more cultivated sound that would be closer to his heart. The kind of music he often went in search of late at night when the shows were over – the kind of music that made him wish his friends were all there, the kind of music that made him wish it wasn't last call.
With nearly a decade as a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist for Dropkick Murphys behind him, and a new gig with The Black Pacific in full swing in March 2012, Marc could still hear this other music calling him from the road. After a late night of drinking and jamming with lap steel enthusiast (and The Black Pacific bassist) Gavin Caswell, the idea for Wild Roses bloomed over a discussion about the sounds that they were influenced by and a musical trinity they sometimes referred to as “The three Rs” – the Rolling Stones, Replacements and Ryan Adams.
Once the hangovers had cleared, Marc and Gavin decided they didn't want this to be just another one of those brilliant plans formed in the dawn and forgotten by dusk. They searched Los Angeles to gather more “wild roses” and found them in the form of Evan Breese (drums) and Jazz Limbo (bass).
The newly formed caravan of four pledged an oath to spread their joy with tunes that they hope will leave a trail of spilled drinks, dancing and smiles through tears. Music to help stave off the loneliness and keep the demons at bay…Songs to listen to on that long drive home to your loved one.
Wild Roses’ music has been described as Americana, country-rock, alt-rock or just good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Come and smell the roses, decide for yourself…
Trapper Schoepp & The Shades: Trapper Schoepp has the ear of a troubadour, the eye of a journalist and the heart of a young poet. He began writing songs at a tender age with startling facility, distilling rock, folk and country traditions into tunes that are at turns spirited and melancholy. Themes ranging from pride of place, love and adventure shine with surprisingly sophisticated metaphors for a songwriter so young. Run, En
gine, Run won’t be out of place filed next to other artists distinguished for their early talent like Justin Townes Earle, Ha Ha Tonka and Lucero. Trapper, his brother Tanner, and the rest of their band the Shades offer this album as a love letter to their beloved home state of Wisconsin, and SideOneDummy will release it internationally on September 25, 2012.
Like his namesake M*A*S*H surgeon Trapper John, the 22-year-old Wisconsin songwriter found himself prepping for surgery a month before recording his band’s third and latest album, Run, Engine, Run, the result of a gnarly BMX bike crash 6 years earlier. Fortunately, his mother gave him a guitar after the accident and Trapper was able to turn his experiences on the operating table at the MayoClinic (for spinal decompression surgery) into songs like the Stones-flavored rocker, “Pins and Needles.”
“'Run Engine Run’ has a lot of meanings for me. My grandfather’s way of life was tied to timeless farming traditions passed down from generation to generation, the same way a songwriter is tied to and nourished by traditional songs. Musicians need to keep the engine running, to keep moving forward. The song is not only an ode to the car our grandpa gave us, but a nod to the perseverance of farmers in the Badlands and to preserving traditions.” Tanner agrees: “It’s about inheriting something of value from the past in a way that is not nostalgic, but vital and never-ending. The album title is a request for resiliency, a way of honoring the past, without getting stuck in it.”
Trapper Schoepp & The Shades is comprised of Trapper on lead vocals and guitar, brother Tanner on bass and vocals, drummer Jon Phillip (Tommy Stinson, Limbeck), and lead guitarist Graham Hunt. Daniel McMahon (Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Cameron McGill) produced Run, Engine, Run and contributed keyboard during the sessions. Grammy-award winning engineer Geoff Sanoff (Fountains Of Wayne, Green Day, Nada Surf) mixed the album.
“As a rock n’ roll band, we play music that has absorbed a whole range of stylistic overtones,” Trapper says of the musicality he’s after with the help of his band, The Shades. “In a sound bite world, it’s crucial to regard certain music not as a static art, but one that transcends tidy categorization. A radio station once said our music is ‘as much Pavement as Parsons.’ I thought that was telling, because this album has a little bit of everything – rock, country, power-pop, even some punk.”
While it’s difficult to capture the band’s live charisma on record, Run, Engine, Run comes close with 12 well-crafted tunes that describe the everyday triumphs and tragedies of Midwestern life. As soon as the album hits the streets, The Shades will take to the road, bringing their heartland rock to the masses. “There’s a blues song by the Rolling Stones called ‘No Expectations’ that hits on a person moving forward and not looking back,” Trapper says. “I hear the song as the story of a young, lonely rambler or musician whose has lost wealth and love, but accepts the fact that there’s a whole world ahead of him. I’m young, so I look at this as an opportunity to press on and share songs. Right now I have no expectations other than to keep on keepin’ on.”
Look for Trapper Schoepp and the Shades on the highway in support of Run, Engine, Run this fall.
Restavrant (Rest^vRant) is junkyard high art. A catapult that soaks in a wealth of contrasting influences and Pollacks back the mash obscuring any predictable template of genre. Electrocana, roots, punk, country and slide blues would seem to be rough acts to merger but through the mad science of front man Troy Murrah the formula hits the nail.
Murrah, a thirty something Los Angeles based
Victoria, Texas native possesses a restless wiring that lends dimensional creativity to his projects incorporating visual art and a compelling asthetic in live shows as well as promotional materials. Troy got a late start musically but hit the ground running. During a moderate "social hiatus" he shacked up with a Silvertone and cut his teeth on the works of Mississippi Fred Mcdowell. He began as a solo one man band act until joining forces with J State who expanded the dynamic and provided percussion, Korg and back up vocals on the 2008 Narnack records realease 'Returns to the Tomb of Guiliano Medidici' and the 2011 album ' Yeah I Carve Cheetahs' under Hillgrass Bluebilly Records. In the current incarnation, Murrah is backed by a rotating cast of talent that captains the elaborate salvage lot trash kit that serves as the driving force of the bands overall sound.
Rest^vrant's hybrid of big belt buckle break loops, slide, banjo, vox and harp have been well received over the course of two full length releases and an extensive west coast and european tour. The band is currently in studio recording what will be their third release and a U.S tour with veteran "dirty ol' one man band" Scott H. Biram has been confirmed for the fall.
“Restavrant are two screemin freeks – term used so respectfully from adorable Victoria, Texas, that use expired license plates for drum parts and bodily drag truly addled hillbillyism into the digital age. They engineer a sloppy collision between Hasil Adkins and DJ Assault that boils down to beat, guitar and rooster-at-sunrise screaming, and behind them the drunkest dancers fall obediently in line.”
On performance at Silver Lake Jubilee:
Rapture or not, Silver Lake Jubilee came and went with a bang this past weekend, and I must admit, attendees partied, danced and laughed as though it were the end of the world. With an amazing display of some of the best Los Angeles bands, we were most impressed by Restavrant—and by the looks of the crowed and endless conversations we had after their pulsating set, Restavrant took the gold! This vibrant duo brought the hoedown through hipster town exuding nothing but a damn good time. People were dancing and stomping their feet to their fiery beats and gritty vocals as the alleged “rapture” was set to arrive. The only rapture I felt, was a cold gust of winds that picked up around 6 p.m. Other than that, everyone was alive and well! However, had the rapture came and blown us to smithereens, we would have gone out with one hell of time dancing to Restavrant.
- Sandra Burciaga, Grimy Goods