Blue Elan Music
The Heart of Of Old School Country With The Cool of Modern Americana.
Some days I absolutely love this job!
It pains me that this is the first of Jesse Dayton’s albums that I’ve ever heard; but it certainly won’t be the last.
Dayton is one of those names that has been around my musical sphere for years but never to the fore so it was with great interest that I put this disc into the player.
Was I surprised when the rat-a-tat beat of Daddy Was a Badass filtered out of the speakers. Dayton sings with great pride about his ‘oilfield White Trash/Honky Tonk Dancer/40 a Day/Beat Cancer/Purple Heart Winning’ Badass Daddy.
The love for the man comes through in every note and word as Jesse paraphrases the man’s life and how he was ‘tamed by Momma!’
Although a great start to the album; for me track #2 Holy Ghost Rock & Roller would have made a better opener; simply because it features an old radio broadcast about the Evils of Rock & Roll as it’s intro…..and it’s an intro and song that sums up Dayton and his music; Rocking Country Music that will bring out the juvenile delinquent in all of us.
The biggest surprise for me has been discovering that Jesse Dayton plays good ole fashioned Classic Country, the Honky Tonk variety that I absolutely love and have done for many years. The man has a masterful way with words on songs like Match Made in Heaven, which certainly has echoes of George Jones at his peak, and the rather odd I’m At Home Gettin’ Hammered (while she’s out getting nailed.) Who knew that a song about cuckoldry would be so catchy and thoughtful?
I’m a fan of many of Dayton’s compadres, especially Hayes Carll who he co-wrote 3 Pecker Coat with. Yet another Classic Country song that will have your toes a’tappin and your hips a wigglin’ as you swig a cold beer…..even in the comfort of your own home.
While this is as good a Country album as I’ve heard this year; my two favourite songs aren’t Dayton’s normal rocking and rolling style; Possum Ran Over My Grave is a sweet acoustic love song about the effect George Jones has had on the songwriter over the years and Dayton’s words will touch Possum fans all over the world.
The other; and by far my ‘stand out track’ here is Mrs. Victoria (Beautiful Thing). Here we find Jesse alone with his Resonator guitar. Phew; just when I was thinking Dayton was a foot to the floor Country Rocker he managed to take my breath away with this delightful and occasionally stunning song about the family maid Mrs. Victoria; a ‘Black old lady who was my best friend/made me who I am today.’ To some degree this is a cliched story about ‘the South’ which we’ve all seen in the movies, but the way Dayton’s words ooze from his lips and the maudlin way he picks his guitar you just have to believe that this is a true story; brothers and sister you have to BELIEVE!
There’s another song here that I will dedicate to musicians all around the world; The Way We Are is a song only a songwriting troubadour could write. Dayton has his tongue firmly in his cheek as he sings ‘Last night we Sold Out/We had it wired/Tonight we couldn’t get arrested/If we set ourselves on fire’ yet the band still loads the gear and drive hundreds of miles to play for ‘drinks from the bar’…..if you are a musician reading this, you’ve been there…right?
Jesse Dayton released his first album in 1995 and I’ve only discovered him in 2016…….and he’s a welcome inclusion in my world.
Released September 23rd 2016