The Lee Boys and Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band both deserved a lot bigger crowd than they drew at the Revolution Room. Just estimating, at peak there may have been 150 counting the staff, and by the end of a raucous jamming set of guitar and pedal steel guitar, pounding drums, thumping bass and the singing and wailing of two of the Lees, there were about 20 of us left. But, I know, it was a school night for some, and this was around midnight. Also, I know it's Little Rock. Bring in a basic musical household word like Blues Traveler and people will turn out. This of course is the city that could barely show up for Bruce Springsteen at Robinson when he was just breaking through (on the covers of Time and Newsweek, no less). It takes Little Rock music fans a few spins to warm to some folks, even if the admission charge is a mere $7.
I had never heard of Rev. Peyton before this week, and that's purely my fault now, now that there's myspace.com to reveal just about any decent band out there to the masses. I'd describe the show as bluesy boogie, with classic blues influences and Rev. Peyton himself sporting a real miked-up National acoustic among his three guitars. His wife, Breezy, played the washboard. His brother played the drums in a pounding fashion. They were cool, with a stage presence that was a little strange yet fun.
The Lee Boys, who developed their sound playing at their church back in Florida, appeared at Riverfest in May, but that was without two of their members -- two of the Lee boys in fact, the two who stand in front of the mic and sing and spin and add to the groove. The band is powered by a great rhythm section, by large Alvin Lee play typical blues electric guitar pretty fairly, and most especially by Doc Collier front and center on the pedal steel playing in a Robert Randolph way. They would have been a great show for any of you twirlers and Deadheads and such who like to spin and all that on the dance floor.
Tonight, Ronny Lemon plays the Revolution Room, and tomorrow night it's Devon Allman and Honeytribe, preceded by local guitar wizard Chris Henry's new act, Cooper's Orbit.