Jesse Dayton has been building a cult following around the globe playing festivals in North America and Europe for years with his guitar shredding, country-infused, Americana sound. As a critic’s darling for his first record on Justice Records, Raisin’ Cain (1995), and a number one Americana radio ranking, Jesse was hired at a young age to play lead guitar on some of the last recordings, and play live, by country legends Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Johnny Bush, Willie Nelson & Glen Campbell and he’s been featured in many guitar magazines.
Sensing a shift in the music business climate, Jesse formed his own label in 2002, Stag Records, and began his most prolific recording period. While recording five solo records, one duet record, one live record, all on Stag, as well as two soundtrack recordings (Devil’s Rejects, Halloween 2) for rocker/director Rob Zombie, Jesse managed to act in movies and music videos, produce several records for other artists (the latest being Supersuckers front man Eddie Spaghetti’s “The Value Of Nothing” on Bloodshot Records), write two screenplays, and most recently wrote and directed a new horror movie, “Zombex,” starring Malcolm McDowell, Sid Haig, John Doe, and Lew Temple (“Walking Dead). All while still performing 150 shows per year.
Returning to the recording studio, Dayton brought what he calls, “my best batch of tunes yet.” Dayton, along with Evans and Christiansen, recorded the majority of the record live. “You could feel the ghost of George Jones, Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm & Jerry Lee Lewis (who recorded there with producer Huey Meaux), in the room while we were working!” Dayton says, “I wanted to get great live root-sy sounds, like the records I loved growing up, but with a real Texas songwriter, story-telling, approach to the lyrics.” Dayton has certainly gone back to those roots, that Texas/Louisiana border feel, with The Revealer. His latest album starts with a bang titled “Daddy Was A Badass” a driving piece recalling about the hard charging life of own father and uncles. This opening track explains a whole hell of a lot about who Jesse Dayton is and why he sounds so different from the current wave of Americana artists.
The songs are personal, about his family and where he’s from. Never opting for the typical lyrics, you can hear Dayton is a big Bob Dylan & Townes Van Zandt fan. There will be no writing about pink Cadillacs & poodle skirts. “It seems like most of the retro stuff I hear these days,” Dayton explains, “is very paint by numbers, not personal or vulnerable. I love what Dylan did on a few of his later records, where he would do a smokin’ R&B or country song, but with real story lyrics.” The Beaumont native, turned Austin-ite also says, “this record is more guitar-centric, more stripped down and all about my guitar playing; very little piano or any other instruments”. Collaboration can be the key to many success stories, so to here on The Revealer. On one of those tunes, “Three Pecker Goat” Dayton co-wrote it with longtime friend and Americana star Hayes Carll and later, he duets on “Match Made In Heaven” with Austin songbird Brennan Leigh.
Dayton’s upcoming tour schedule is insane. He just finished performing aboard the “The Outlaw Country Cruise” with Lucinda Williams, The Mavericks and Steve Earle. Dayton’s music was such a hit, he’s already been asked back for the next cruise. His tour dates go non-stop into next year. Come on out and listen to this tall Texan take you on a zydeco-flavored trip through his musical mind, you will not be disappointed!
RESPONSIBLE AGENT: TODD "AGGIE" GARDNER