If you go
› What: Nightfall
› Where: Miller Plaza, 850 Market St.
› When: 7 p.m. Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit, 8 p.m. Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Friday, July 13
› Admission: Free
› For more information: 423-265-0771
Southern Indiana singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. He's built a reputation as both a compelling performer and an evangelist for the country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life.
That music 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 inspiration —and ceaseless touring — made Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band one of the foremost country blues outfits and it fueled the Reverend's 2017 album, "The Front Porch Sessions." The album is so named because Peyton said in a news release "I wanted it to feel like you're on my front porch. You can almost hear the wood creaking."
Peyton's trio will hold a Miller Plaza session on Friday night, July 13, when the band headlines Nightfall at 8 p.m. The free summer concerts are produced by Chattanooga Presents. Jordan Hallquist & The Outfit will open the show at 7 p.m.
Peyton says his friends tagged him with the Reverend nickname as a teen and it stuck. Even his mother uses the name since it so adequately reflects his extrovert persona onstage and off.
"The person who's onstage is exactly the way I am offstage. I don't know how to separate myself from my music, because it's so personal to me," he says.
Peyton has integrated "The Front Porch Sessions" spare approach into the band's live shows, which are known for their intensity and spontaneity.
"In a lot of our shows in the past few years, we'll take a break and I'll come out and do a song or two by myself," he explained in an industry interview.
"Over the years, our shows have gotten more dynamic," he adds. "That's something that's important to me. If I go and see a show and someone's just standing there and staring at their feet and singing their songs, I feel insulted. That's not a performance. I want to know that you're living that song, not just regurgitating it. I don't think artists should seem like they're too cool for their audience."