Jesse Dayton

Jesse Dayton
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For a country boy from the oil fields of Beaumont Texas, Jesse Dayton’s blue collar upbringing has served him well. He is about as indie/D.I.Y. as it gets. After being asked by legendary artists to record and tour extensively he knew that workin w/ the "new country" artist of Nashville was just not the way to go. He opened entire tours for Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver, and played guitar for most of the country outlaws like Waylon, Cash, Ray Price, Johnny Bush, Jessi Colter, Doug Sahm and the list goes on. He went on extended US tours w/ punk rock legends Social Distortion, X and the Supersuckers, sometimes not coming home for months on end. While out touring the world (US, Europe, Russia and Asia) he realized that there was a whole underground of people who loved his music that also were not into the ultra slick Nashvile sound. Dayton made a pretty gutsy move and asked the execs at the LA label he was then signed too if they would let him out of his contract so he could start his own label, Stag Records. Since then, this long tall Texan has taken the bull by the horns and created his own self-branded business. He runs his own publishing company, Hard Charger Music, which has licensed music to Film and TV. His own merchandising line. And in '06, he started his own festival, "The Jesse Dayton Honky-Tonk and Hotrod Festival", (Dayton owns a highly customized '50 Ford), combining music and car culture launching festivals all over the US. In the mid-nineties when Jesse Dayton released his debut solo record, Raisin’ Cain, New Country Magazine called it “the most promising country debut since the Mavericks' From Hell To Paradise." Europe chimed in when Mojo Magazine wrote, "It's been ten years, when Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam emerged, since country music launched a new artist this powerful." All the accolades caught the attention of the Nashville rebels who had to knock down walls to get that kind of praise. Willie, Waylon, Kris, and Cash all made time to hang out with this long tall Texan from Beaumont who was grabbing the headlines. Dayton was sitting alongside Kris Kristofferson on the highly rated Crook and Chase tv show. He was recruited by Waylon Jennings’ to play guitar on the critically acclaimed, Right For The Time (Justice Records). Johnny Cash drove to the studio to offer some life changing advice... “Your’re different son, which means you will have a longer career than the rest of these guys.” Willie invited him to hang on his bus, Honeysuckle Rose, before playing one of the most coveted slots at his infamous 4th of July Picnic. It was clear that Dayton’s musical heroes connected with his outlaw spirit. The next logical step for outlaw country’s new protege? Record your followup in Nashville and call it Hey Nashvegas! Even though he was in Nashville, Hey Nashvegas! was still 100% Texan. It was all Dayton originals (except for one Bruce Robison/Jim Lauderdale cover) and featured a checklist of stellar musicians, including the as yet unknown Dixie Chicks, Jim Lauderdale, Tex-Mex superstar Flaco Jimenez on accordian, and fiddle giant Johnny Gimble. "Daytons Nashville record would have to wait to see the light of day...after leaving Texas indie Justice Records for Californias' Hollywood Records, the artist became involved in typical back-burner label shinanigans...he still kept busy, playin guitar and touring w/ his roots-rock band the RoadKings, Mike Ness and Chris Issak. Once he was free and clear from record contracts, Dayton enlisted two partners and formed Stag Records. After releasing his songwriters record "Tall Texas Tales" to glowing reviews and suprisingly kick-ass indie sales,(for a record that cost 3000 bucks to make!), his first order of business was to pull "Hey Nashvegas" off the shelf and put into the hands of his ever-growing cult following. One Texas Music publication put it succinctly " Dayton’s music is that of the proverbial rugged individualist, and his work has presaged some of the most interesting musical trends of the past decade. It’s country with rock and punk sensibilities. Dayton describes his music better than anyone. “It’s pretty much a gumbo of American roots music. It’s all in there: rockabilly, honky-tonk, jump-blues and vintage soul and R&B. Recreating old music is not what I’m into. Creating hybrids of music with all the classic tones and sounds is what turns me on.” Ever the entrepreneur Dayton enlisted two partners and formed roots-oriented Stag Records. The first item of business at Stag was to pull Hey Nashvegas! (STAG-003; released Sept. 25, 2001) off the shelf and put it into the hands of his fans. Dayton was firmly entrenched as a do-it-yourselfer and flew the “indie” flag high. He now had his own label which was financed, and with international distribution. It was his chance to make music the way he wanted. His first true Stag recording was titled Country Soul Brother (STAG-006; released November 2, 2004). It is a great example of what freedom and independence have done for Dayton the artist. Also heavily influenced by ‘60s soul artists and soulful country artists like George Jones, Conway Twitty, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Country Soul Brother mines Dayton’s blue-eyed soul side, yet everything is done within Dayton’s exciting and highly volatile turbo-country template, making for an entirely unique album that stands out from the mass of albums known collectively today as alternative country. While on tour promoting Country Soul Brother, Dayton got a call from hard rocker, Rob Zombie. Zombie invites Dayton out to L.A. to talk about music for his next movie, and the next thing he knows, he’s the man behind the fictional Devil’s Rejects band, “Banjo & Sullivan.” In a three day writing session Dayton describes as "sponsored by Jim Beam," he and actor/friend Lew Temple wrote 10 '70s influenced, honky tonk songs filled with edgey, double-entendre lyrics. Titles include “I'm Home Gettin’ Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed) and “I Don’t Give A Truck.” Dayton took the songs, and a decent recording budget, back to Austin and put them to music. Released through Universal, Banjo & Sullivan: The Ultimate Collection, continues to escalate in sales and he found himself a host of completely new fans. Dayton’s next release, South Austin Sessions (STAG-009; released March 7, 2006) draws a nod to some of his other influences including Townes Van Zandt, Jim Lauderdale and ZZ Top. He says it’s “one for the fans” and includes live show highlights such as “Mexican Blackbird”, “Why Do I Love You”, and “Loretta.” For his next recording, Holdin’ Our Own (scheduled for Nov. ’07 release) Dayton decided to pay homage to the classic country duets he grew up on in the 70's. He found the Tammy to his George in Austin songbird, Brennen Leigh. Dayton is quick to point out Leigh’s many talents. “Brennen grew up singing in Bluegrass festivals since she was a little girl and can play any instrument you put in front of her...sick talent.” Leigh’s most recent recording, Devil's on My Trail, has a time honored, country tinged sound and represents a departure from the bluegrass she cut her teeth on. She has a renegade musical philosophy and believes “people will get sick of glossy, overproduced pop-country.” This philosophy, and her “sick talent”, got her noticed by Jesse Dayton and it didn’t take long for them to begin writing and recording what as now become, Holdin’ Our Own. Holdin’ Our Own (STAG-011; streets November 27, 2007) is mostly Dayton/Leigh originals, with a few classic duets like Johnny and June’s “Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man;” and George and Tammy’s “Somethin’ To Brag About.” They enlisted some of Austin’s finest pickers, along with Dayton’s road band, to record a no frills, country to the core, album that showcases two of music’s brightest shining stars. And yes, it’s being released on his label, he owns the songs, and he is doing shows with Brennen at his own festivals.
Date Venue City State Note
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10/20/2010 - Jesse Dayton Visits Texas Dance Halls - Read More
01/12/2007 - The Honky Tonk Blues - Read More
04/06/2006 - Emerging US country singer to tour Vietnam  - Read More
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Average Rating : 4.1              Total Reviews: 19

Jesse Dayton  09/16/2014            
I think Ness told them to play shitty music when they was tourin cause stuff like I had heard off Live at Satellite Lounge woulda blew the hat off the house.
Jesse Dayton  10/22/2009            
Talk to experts in public, but play to the audience of mainstream voters and consumers who happen to pass by the discussion. ,
Jesse Dayton  11/10/2008            
J.D. Bailey
So Jesse, you say that you didn't "sell out", but rather that you "bought in". That begs the question, why would anyone give you money to play with in the first place?!
Jesse Dayton  12/19/2006            
Hey Jesse, Keep on truckin' man, cause your style is not only unique, it's a reincarnation of greatness, like Jones and Jennings. But, in your own right. Each CD is ecclectic and I am a FAN, cheers.
Jesse Dayton  06/22/2006            
J. Thompson
Jesse Dayton is so damn good, yet relatively unknown. I admit, I was not a big fan at first, but it didn't take long for CSB to grow on me. Try this album out, he is a cut above the rest.
Jesse Dayton  06/20/2006            
"being lied to" needs to get a life. Jesse tears it up night after night, and record after record. The Austin Chronicle didn't call his Country Soul Brother record "Top of the class of Austin country releases" just for kicks.
Jesse Dayton  12/31/2005            
we're being lied to
Here it is again. Jesse's friends are buying Cooder Graw, Pat Green...this is just send you on your way to the paying guys....what a crock.
Jesse Dayton  05/18/2005            
Gay? I'll agree the head shot SUX, but gay? Go see him live then decide if "gay" works. As for his music, this new one is as classy as "Texas Music" will probably ever get.
Jesse Dayton  04/08/2005            
You need to get a new head shot. You look gay and your music is sorry.
Jesse Dayton  03/15/2005            
I saw them at the houston livestock show and rodeo in the hideout after the main show and he kicked ass. I have never hear his music before but he is great live. I will be looking for him in the future. high impact fast pased great old style texas music.
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