Despite avowed authenticity, attention to detail and Josh Peyton’s strong adoration for country blues maverick Charley Patton, the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s latest mini-opus, the 13-track Peyton on Patton, does not elevate Patton’s stature for a new audience. Peyton’s mostly unaccompanied performances – washboard-playing wife Breezy and Aaron “Cuz” Persinger’s percussion are only on a few tracks – come across less as tribute and more as parody, due in part to Peyton’s sometimes strident and mumbled/grumbled vocals and his dutiful lo-fi, one-microphone arrangements which unfortunately provide one-dimensionality to material that deserves better.

Patton recorded at least 60 songs during his shortened life, so why does Peyton find it necessary to offer three likeminded versions of “Some of These Day’s I’ll Be Gone?” The Rev’s fans won’t find the rambunctious energy of previous studio outings – much less Peyton’s vivid live shows – and it’s doubtful blues enthusiasts will highly rate Peyton on Patton.

Grade: C



Peyton on Patton will be available July 19.