Audio Mixers: Josh "Reverend" Peyton; Dan Figurelli.
Recording information: Farm Fresh Studios, Bloomington, IN.
Photographer: Tyler Zoller.
The very title The Front Porch Sessions suggests what Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band deliver on their sixth album: stripped-down, simple, down-home blues. Reverend Peyton began using the term "Front Porch Sessions" back in 2014, when he started posting live clips recorded on his front porch onto the internet, but this 2017 album was indeed cut in a studio: Farm Fresh in his native Indiana. It may have been made in a professional studio, but The Front Porch Sessions delivers on the intimacy and immediacy of its title, while also sounding very, very big. Almost of this lies on Reverend Peyton himself, who has a muscular howl that tends to overshadow the other two members of his big band, but that's by design. The Big Band deliver a big sound by focusing on a down-and-gritty groove, a boogie that naturally comes to the forefront on the handful of instrumentals, but is also felt when Peyton is bellowing his lungs out. This palpable sense of soul, combined with a strong set of songs -- there are a handful of standards, including Furry Lewis' "When My Baby Left Me," along with solid originals -- elevates The Front Porch Sessions to the very top rank of the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band albums. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine