Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band
Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.
That passionate inspiration has made Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band America’s foremost country blues outfit and fuels the Rev’s new release, The Front Porch Sessions. Peyton’s dazzling guitar mastery is equaled here by his knack for vivid, emotionally impactful songwriting, and his originals are matched in their authenticity by the deeply felt vintage blues tunes that he covers. The album showcases the Rev’s irrepressible personality while echoing the enduring spirit of such acoustic blues icons as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Furry Lewis, whose “When My Baby Left Me” receives a memorable reading.
The Front Porch Sessions was released March 10, 2017 on Family Owned Records/Thirty Tigers.
Cary Hudson was born in the small church-oriented town of Sumrall, MS. It was here that the future musician grew to appreciate all styles of music, ranging from church music and gospel to blues and country. In the late '80s, Hudson formed the Hilltops, which evolved into Blue Mountain, with partner Laurie Stirratt and John Stirratt. The group toured the American South and released one album before John Stirratt left to form Uncle Tupelo. Blue Mountain continued as a trio, with Frank Coutch playing drums. The band released four albums over that time, including Tales of a Traveler (Roundrunner) in 1999. The group eventually split up in 2001. In 2002, Hudson released his first solo outing on Black Dog Records, The Phoenix. He has shared the stage with Steve Earle and many others and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, having completed a three week tour of Germany in the spring of 2002.
After Blue Mountain split, and Hudson embarked on a solo career that spawned 3 albums released on his and cousin Chris Hudson's record label, Black Dog Records. His 3rd solo album, the appropriately titled Bittersweet Blues, allows Hudson to strip away the electric guitar and record an exclusively acoustic album. Every song displays Hudson's amazing song writing talent and pure bluesy voice. From the opening "Snow in Mississippi", the album is a mature, addictive, rush of pure Mississippi music that engulfs your mind and captures your soul. Hudson is, as a song writer, possibly his finest throughout his entire career on this album. The XM Radio hit, "Berlin Blues", is the track No. 9 on the record.
Cary will be performing with full band at the Front Porch Jubilee.
Kenny Brown is an American blues slide guitarist skilled in the North Mississippi Hill Country blues style. Brown apprenticed with Mississippi Joe Callicott, who was his neighbor in Nesbit, Mississippi, from age 12 to 15, when Callicott died. He had heard Othar Turner and others in nearby Como picnics, and cited Junior Kimbrough, Johnny Winter, and Johnny Shines as influences. Around 1971, beside working in construction, Brown began playing with two other musicians. Johnny Woods would make an occasional playing partner to his death in 1990. More steady was Brown's learning with R. L. Burnside, who claimed Brown as his "adopted son," and affectionately called him "white boy on guitar" and "my white son."
In the early seventies, Kenny and R.L. started to perform in their region, and would keep up as a duo for twenty years. Cedric Burnside joined their tours from about 1994, as Burnside's reputation surged. In the 1990s and early 2000s Brown participated in most of Burnside's tours and recordings, including the Burnside-Jon Spencer Blues Explosion collaborations. Brown first appeared abroad in Sweden in 1989, and later at the 1992 Åmåls Blues Fest with George "Mojo" Buford. On record, he plays second guitar on two of Junior Kimbrough's albums throughout, and on some tracks on the posthumous compilation, God Knows I Tried. He is on tracks by Asie Payton, CeDell Davis and Paul "Wine" Jones, as well as Frank Frost and Cyndi Lauper.
Brown's own debut album was Goin' Back to Mississippi (1996), produced by Dale Hawkins. He has recorded one album for Fat Possum Records, Stingray (2003). He released Cheap, Fast, and Dirty (2006) with Danish guitarist Troels Jensen, at Olufsen Records. Meet Ya In The Bottom (2008) CD Baby release and Can't Stay Long (2011) on Devil Down Records. He has opened for Widespread Panic and is featured in the 2006 film Black Snake Moan, where he provided backing for star Samuel L. Jackson's vocals. He can be seen in the film's climax as a guitarist in a blues band, playing alongside Cedric Burnside.
Brown lives in Potts Camp, Mississippi, in the North Mississippi Hill Country with his wife Sara.
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Duwayne Burnside is one of 14 children born to legendary North Mississippi musician R.L. Burnside and his wife, Alice. He has been a frequent performer with the North Mississippi Allstars since the early 1990s, when that group, fronted by Luther and Cody Dickinson, formed. The young Burnside learned his first few guitar licks and chords from his father, but proved a quick study and soon began playing with local club owner Junior Kimbrough and the Soul Blues Boys. Growing up in Holly Springs, he was close to Memphis, and as soon as he was able to get to Memphis, he did, and soon had the chance to sit in with Little Jimmy King, Albert King, B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and others. Duwayne also began playing in his Dad's band, Sound Machine Groove, where he further honed his skills as a guitarist and showman. He recorded for Hightone and Fat Possum Records with his father's group before moving to Memphis, where he opened his own club, Burnside Kitchen and Grill, near Highway 61. He booked the music, cooked the food, sold the beer, and had his own band perform there on a weekly basis.
In 1998, Duwayne traveled to Los Angeles to record his first album, Live at the Mint, as Duwayne Burnside & the Mississippi Mafia. After returning to Memphis, he decided to take a break from the bar business and settled back home in Holly Springs. In 2001, he joined the North Mississippi Allstars on-stage for the first time in Birmingham, Alabama, and that led to incessant touring with the band. He recorded with them on their third album, Polaris, and is featured on two of the group's EP's. In 2004, he opened another version of the Burnside Blues Cafe in Holly Springs and formed a new band that fused soul blues with hill country blues. His albums under his own name include Live at the Mint (1998) and Under Pressure (2005), both for B.C. Records. One of the last things he asked his father to do -- R.L. Burnside passed at age 80 in 2005 -- was sing with him at the massive, popular Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. Burnside continues to tour, helping to keep the North County, Mississippi hill-style blues flourishing.
Grits & Soul
At the heart of Grits & Soul is Anna Kline and John Looney. Known for their seamless harmonies and stirring melodies, Anna and John lend their voices to the rich tradition of Southern songwriters who constantly explore and push the boundaries of American roots music. Their partnership converges at the crossroads of bluegrass and classic country, Southern soul and blues. With over six years-worth of highway miles and hundreds of yearly performances across the Southeast and Europe, Grits & Soul forge a powerful connection for a compelling live performance. The duo recently appeared on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, which will air on The Travel Channel in August 2017. The episode highlights The Daniel Boone Trail in Kentucky and features their original music.
After the 2013 release of their debut album, Flood Waters, Grits & Soul made their mark on the regional music scene. Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine gave the team a glowing review, calling Flood Waters “intriguing and enveloping.” The recording highlights the collaboration of a gifted lyricist with a talented arranger, who together share a deep appreciation of their Southern musical heritage.
Notable festival performances include MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Suwannee Springfest, and Country Festival in St. Truiden, Belgium, to name a few. They are now working on a new album, and as they continue to forge ahead, their sophomore effort will be a departure from bluegrass, digging deeper into their blues, soul, and country roots.
Hailing from the hometown of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Como Mamas, and Jessie Mae Hemphill, R.L. Boyce of Como is one of the leading torchbearers of the north Mississippi hill country's blues tradition. As a guitarist, he follows in the footsteps of R.L. Burnside and John Lee Hooker, but Boyce got his start on drums behind two titans of Mississippi's fife and drum blues tradition, Otha Turner and Napolian Strickland. He's also backed Jessie Mae Hemphill on her 1990 "Feelin' Good" LP.
In 2007 Boyce recorded his debut solo album, "Ain't the Man's Alright," with a cast of luminaries including Cedric Burnside, Luther Dickinson, Calvin Jackson, and Lightnin' Malcolm. Having learned the blues at the feet of the north Mississippi legends, Boyce is now a must-see elder statesman.
Jack Rowell, Jr.
A blue-eyed, soulful blues singer with blazing guitar licks to match. Blues legend Albert King once said about Jack, "He is one bad white boy who can flat sing and play the blues!"
Jack began his professional career at the age of 15 in The Debuts ("If I Cry") with partner, Jimi Jamison (Survivor), who were signed with Atlantic Records and toured with The Buckinghams, Mitch Ryder and Roy Orbison. Since then, Jack has performed with national artists such as Rufus Thomas, Pinetop Perkins, Willie Cobbs, The Gentrys ("Keep on Dancin", "Cinnamon Girl"), Delbert McClinton, George Jones, Ace Cannon, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Bowser (Sha Na Na), The Shangrilas, The Tokens, Martha Reeves, Renaldo Rey, Ben Cauley (Bar Kays), The Highwaymen II (Willie/Waylon/Kris/Johnny), Robbie Turner, Steve Potts, Luther Kent (Voice of Louisiana) , B. B. Cunningham (of "Let It All Hang Out"/"Little Deuce Coupe"), and with Memphis and Beale Street greats Joyce Cobb, Don McMinn, Reba Russell, James Govan, Herman Green, Sonny Williams, Noki Taylor, Bill Marshall, Jack Holder and more.
During Elvis Week in August 2012, Jack was music director for the King's Fanfare at Handy Park on Beale Street, his band backing up Tony Orlando, T G Sheppard, Kelly Lang and Jimi Jamison. Also in 2012, Jack released a hot Blues CD entitled "Sleeping with the Blues", with hot original songs, hot vocals and hot musicianship by great friends; "Sleeping with the Blues" has been touted as one of the best CD's out of Memphis in a while and nominated by the Blues Foundation 2013 Best Self-Produced CD award. After winning the Sonny Boy Blues Society Battle of the Blues Bands, The Jack Rowell Jr. Band performed on the Main Stage and the Rising Biscuit Stage at the 2012 King Biscuit Blues Festival. Riding high on the Blues Trail, The Jack Rowell Jr. Band also includes Doug McMinn, Leo Goff Jr., Mark Ross, Robert Nighthawk Tooms, Bob Horn and Teri Sweet T Rowell. World Boogie is here and growing fast in Memphis with The Jack Rowell, Jr. Band leading the way!
Sharde Thomas was born in the North Mississippi Hill Country in 1990 and is the Granddaughter of North Mississippi fife and drum master Mr. Otha Turner. The heir to Otha's mastery of the fife and drum at a very young age, Sharde is the lead vocalist and fife player in the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band. The RSF&D Band has traveled the world performing a mixture of folk, blues, gospel and pop music. Sharde released her debut album in 2010 titled "What Do I Do". Her sophomore release came out in 2013 titled "Shawty Blues". Sharde has worked with greats like Eric Clapton, Cyndi Lauper, Bobby Rush, North Mississippi Allstars, Mavis Staples, The Wandering and many others. Her music has been featured on the big screen in movies like Black Snake Moan, Super Size Me, and Gangs of New York.