Jesse Dayton
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Jesse Dayton


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"Emerging US country singer to tour Vietnam"

American singer and songwriter Jesse Dayton will tour Vietnam May 8-21, a rare chance for local music fans to meet a rising country star, the VietnamNet newswire reported Monday.

Dayton is a star waiting to happen, says the Houston Chronicle, and MOJO in London likened him to the first country star in 10 years with the power of a Steve Earl or Dwight Yoakum.

Jesse Dayton is considered by some critics one of the most talented singers in Texas, laying down hardcore roots music with a sharp, edgy quality that “ought to be in the mainstream and ought to be heard,” according to a website of the genre.

He has so far cut five albums, including Raisin' Cain (1995), Tall Texas Tale (2000), Hey Nashvegas! (2001), Country Soul Brother (2004), and South Austin Sessions (2006).
- Thanhnien News (Vietnam)

"Dayton discovers fiction pays"

Beaumont native and local rockabilly favorite Jesse Dayton has found that fiction can be pretty lucrative. It can also be plenty fun.

After more than 15 years of making a stylish rock-country hybrid best categorized as "NashVegas," Dayton got an unexpected phone call from monster metal-head Rob Zombie.

"The voice on the other end says, 'This is Rob Zombie,' " says Dayton. "I'm like, 'The rock 'n' roll guy?' "

The reason for Zombie's call: He needed somebody to create music for Banjo & Sullivan, a fictional country music duo that goes missing, presumed to be part of the body count in Zombie's new carnage-fest film The Devil's Rejects.
"It was really all out of left field how it came about," Dayton admits.

Flash back three months: Zombie was having a conversation about The Devil's Rejects with Houston actor Lew Temple (an Alley Theatre vet who plays musician Adam Banjo in the film) when the question, "I wonder what Banjo & Sullivan would actually sound like?" was posed.

Temple answered Zombie's question by playing a copy of Dayton's 2004 album Country Soul Brother. Zombie was hooked, and he asked Dayton to help dream up a whole twisted mythology for the late Banjo & Sullivan (Roy Sullivan is played by actor Geoffrey Lewis).

In a three-day studio session Dayton describes as "sponsored by Jim Beam," he and Temple wrote 10 '70s-influenced, banjo-and-bass-charged honky-tonk stomps filled with off-color, cheeky titles like I Don't Give a Truck and I'm at Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed). It also features a reworking of Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic Free Bird.

Dayton said that Zombie secured enough money from Universal to allow Dayton to create an entire album in Austin, removed from any label meddling.

"We could've been making a polka record in a topless bar for all they knew," laughs Dayton. "When we gave it to Zombie, he said, 'Just turn up the volume and let's go with it.' "

Zombie didn't have the album issued as a Rejects-related recording (an official soundtrack was released last month), but rather as an actual Banjo & Sullivan album. So listeners can now seek out Banjo & Sullivan's The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978 at record retailers.

And don't think for one minute that the recording will be the last word from Banjo & Sullivan.
In recent interviews Zombie has added to the legend with tales of newly discovered "lost tapes" and rumors that
Dayton is actually Banjo's illegitimate son.

"We're thinking of putting together a tour with some really hot south Austin musicians and making a run as the Banjo & Sullivan tribute band," Dayton says. "We got to keep Banjo & Sullivan alive."

Wink wink - Houston Chronicle

"Top Records of 2005"

Mark Chesnutt
Savin' the Honky Tonk
A great singer makes it clear where his heart lies on this set of undiluted barroom country.

Jesse Dayton
Country Soul Brother
The singer-guitarist busts genres with rough-edged flair, blending youthful swagger with old-soul character.

Ellis Hooks
The best of the young soul men reenergizes old-school soul with his gritty fervor and excellent original songs.

Alan Jackson
What I Do
Mr. Cool turns in another masterful effort, full of heft and grace.

Tift Merritt
(Lost Highway)
The singer and songwriter transcends her Lucinda Williams influences with a commanding set of originals that touch on country-rock, gospel, folk and classic soul.

Julie Roberts
Julie Roberts
The sultry newcomer avoids the usual Nashville homogenization with a striking, acoustic-textured debut.

Travis Tritt
My Honky Tonk History
The rowdy Georgian is maturing into the Waylon Jennings of his generation.

Dale Watson
This Lone Star State champion of hard-core country brings a sophisticated new swing to his honky-tonk.

Hank Williams Jr.
I'm One of You
On this set from the end of 2003, the oft-ridiculed Bocephus shows just how good he can be when he puts his mind to it.

Gretchen Wilson
Here for the Party
The "Redneck Woman" shows on this debut that she is about more than hell-raising, though she's darn good at that. - Philadelphia Inquirer


Road Kings (Bullet) - 1990
Raisin' Cain (Justice) - 1995
Road Kings/Live At The Satellite (Justice) - 1997
Road Kings (Surfdog) - 1999
Tall Texas Tales (Stag) - 2001
Hey Nashvegas (Stag) - 2002
Live In Las Vegas Bootleg (Stag) - 2003
Country Soul Brother (Stag) - 2004
Banjo & Sullivan (Hip-O/Universal) - 2005
South Austin Sessions (Stag) - 2006
Jesse & Brennen "Holdin' Our Own" (Stag) - 2007
Capt. Clegg & The Night Creatures (Zombie) - 2009



Jesse Dayton's brand of country music has been labeled "turbo country", a nod to his rockabilly roots with the Road Kings and the Alamo Jets. Dayton was raised on a diet of blues, cajun and punk, but graduated into full-flown rockabilly with the Road Kings, the outfit he formed in the late 80s. His 2004 album, Country Soul Brother, was an effective distillation of honky-tonk, rockabilly, soul and folk and even included an unlikely cover version of the Cars' "Just What I Needed". The following year Dayton was contacted by Rob Zombie to write songs for his new horror movie, The Devil's Rejects. The songs from the soundtrack, released on the faux greatest hits album Banjo & Sullivan: The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978, included honky-tonk delights such as "I'm Home Getting Hammered While She's Out Getting Nailed". Dayton’s 2006 release, “South Austin Sessions” draws a nod to some of his influences including Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Jim Lauderdale and ZZ Top. In 2007 he released his duets recording with fellow Austinite, Brennen Leigh. It's titled "Holdin' Our Own" and is was hailed as the "real deal" by USA today. New for 09 is Jesse's full length album as Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures for Rob Zombie's new Halloween movie, "H2." Jesse composed, produced and recorded an entire record of tunes, some of which appear in the movie. Jesse also appears in the movie as Capt. Clegg. The movie and soundtrack will be released simultaneously in August 2009.