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Texan hell-raiser Jesse Dayton is one of a kind. Unique as they come, Dayton’s music combine a rock’n’roll beat to Texas barroom country. If he were born in another time I imagine he would have ripped it up in the 1950s in Memphis on Sun Records. On the other hand he would make a good cousin for Dale Watson! His tribute to George Jones ”Possum Ran Over My Grave” underlines where his heart and soul lie, and with credits playing on recording by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash there is no doubting his credentials. 


Hope the above make sense. Dayton opens with heart-tugging “Daddy Was A Badass”, and the dust hasn’t settled and he is burning it up with “Holy Ghost Rock N Roller” and “The Way We Are” (I imagine Ol’ Waylon showing his approval of the tune for the Outlaw sounding number containing from time to time a melody not too distant to “Good Hearted Woman”), and then with brutal honesty Dayton takes up the plight of a dead beat loser on “Take Out The Trash”. Dayton he can be all tough, blasting a sound and cussing about some misadventure, and or how rednecks, pick-up trucks, shotguns and whisky fuelled rages are riff; and the next minute perform something as delightful and as “Mrs. Victoria (Beautiful Thing)” — a modern-day blues country classic in the making! It seems to set the pulse rate for the record. For out of the chute next comes “3 Pecker Coat” (warmed in something of Louisiana cajun beat the tune stands up against the best of its kind), on the record Dayton (all guitars, bass, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals); Eric Tucker, Mike Stinson and Eric Hughes (drums), Riley Osbourne (piano, B-3 organ), John Evans (bass, backing vocals, percussion), Beth Christian (fiddle) and on “Match Made In Heaven” he calls up Brennen Leigh to provide duet vocals. Shame better use isn’t made of Leigh’s vocal prowess since she’s too far back on occasions in the mix.


Humourus ode “I’m At Home Getting’ Hammered (While She’s Out Gettin’ Nailed”) is one of those set to become a favourite with his fans. Not least due to the good ol’ boys lyrics, and rousing beat (banjo even can be heard, and what about his chicken pickin’ guitar licks!). While Dayton closes on a sombre, thought provoking note on the ‘whiskey toned vocal styled country blues and gospel-ish hinted earthy gem “Big State Motel”.  What a man, what a performer. If he could only channel his music and energy there is reason he couldn’t write an album of tunes like it and stellar ode “Mrs. Victoria….”). 


                                                               Maurice Hope 

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May 2018

John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
Sam Morrow
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Concrete and Mud
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Caleb Caudle
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Crushed Coins
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Son of Davy/30 Tigers
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27 pts.
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Settling Scores vol. 2

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