There is much debate these days as to what is “Real Country music,” but there is no doubt when you hear Texas guitarist, singer/songwriter Jesse Daytonon his new album, The Revealer, released in September of 2016 that he is “The Real Deal.” Dayton won his bonafide stature doing time as lead guitarist for Waylon Jennings, with Kris Kristofferson & his hero Glen Campbell, but it is his songwriting skills that cement his real country status. Dayton draws from the well of truth being stranger than fiction and shares stores of family, friends, fighting and hard luck love with keen lyrical wit that draws you in to his world of bigger than life honky-tonk characters and real folk charm. The twelve new tracks were immaculately recorded in Houston at the Gulf Coast’s hit factory, Sugar Hill Studios, and puts’ Dayton’s considerable talent on full display as he plays guitar, bass, percussion, and keys, as well as singing his own harmonies.
Opening track ‘Daddy Was A Badass,’ is set to become an Out Law Country classic with it’s larger than life account of the life of a man from ‘The Greatest Generation.” Dayton channels Jerry Lee on the piano fueled blaster ‘Holy Ghost Rock N Roller, ‘and then plays the role of Waylon and every working band leader declaring “We can’t help,” ‘The Way We Are.’ Beth Chrisman add color on her fiddle to the dark two step ‘Eatin’ Crow And Drinkin’ Sand,’ giving way to one of Dayton’s gritty guitar solos over a tom driven bridge. The tale of musical epiphany ‘Possum Ran Over My Grave,’ attempts to explain how Country got in Dayton’s soul, but the message could apply to any art that fills one spirit with awe. The acoustic ballad ‘Mrs. Victoria’ (Beautiful Thing) tugs at your heart with Dayton picking a resonator guitar and recanting the life of the maid who became a part of the family and selflessly gave her love to a young boy. The gears shift to hoot n holler dance floor hijinks for ‘3 Pecker Goat,’ pushing the limits of down home vernacular over a driving boot scootin’ boogie. Austin songbird Brennan Leigh joins Dayton for Country Cosmopolitan throwback duet ‘Match Made In Heaven.’ Some seriously hot picking highlights the pathos party song ‘I’m Home Getting Hammered,” and ‘Never Started Livin’ is a true blue country ballad about real love, although we are left to wonder if Dayton is singing about a girl or his guitar.
Rick J Bowen