(Photo Credit - Ray Redding)
Album Review - Jesse Dayton - Mixtape Volume 1
Jesse Dayton has a classic southern rock/country mixture to his sound. Incredibly, each song he put into Mixtape Volume 1 are toe tappers. However, he's not afraid to push the limits of his sound as he has included a cover of The Clash's "Bankrobber" on the album as well. Dayton's vocals are powerful as they unabashedly boom across each track. His vocals have a power that is lost in today's music. Dayton's the kind of vocalist who could get up on stage in a music hall and belt out notes without a microphone and the audience wouldn't miss a beat.
He's right at home whether he's playing a classic country feeling tune or absolutely shredding a classic rock style track. His versatility on this album is amazing. It's also how great each track fits together, they don't feel thrown on the album, it has to be because Dayton's vocals ties everything together nicely.
Closing Thoughts - There's a lot to love here. There's songs that make me want to drive down a highway with the windows down at 90 mph and the radio on full blast. On the other hand there are some slower tunes you can just sit idly and appreciate the beauty of the composition. That sort of juxtaposition working well on one album is hard to do. You have to give credit to Jesse Dayton, he's a hell of a musician who brings it all together.
Rating - 4/5
Artist Spotlight - Jesse Dayton
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"Piano lessons were mandatory for me and my brother and sister. Everyone sings well in the family. My first recollections of music were my parents listening to old Willie Nelson 8-tracks. I’ve been playing for over 40 years and have paid my bills making music for 30. It’s a calling for sure."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"My process for writing music is constantly changing. I take lots and lots of notes everyday. It might be a title for a song that some unknowing drunk says at a bar. It might be a melody that I hum into my recorder in the bathroom on a plane. It might be one line for a chorus or verse or the whole song, words, music, melody might spew out in five minutes as though I’m being guided by other forces. But one thing’s for sure, I’m always writing, and I consider it blue-collar work. You have to wake up and put your toolbelt on and finish something all the time. You have to be a self-starter. Remember, no one will care about your songs as much as you, nor should they. It’s a 10,000-hour outliers job."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"I get inspiration from all sources. George Jones’ singing, Jimmy Webb and Gordon Lightfoot’s songwriting, Jerry Reeds’ guitar picking, Muddy Waters’ vibe, Aretha Franklin’s Gospel records, Elvis’ style, The Rolling Stones’ danger, Dylan’s counter-culture message, Billy Gibbons’ guitar tone...I could go on for days!"
4 .Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"Lately I’ve been playing a guitar that a friend of mine, Jason Burns from Blast Cult, built for me in California and that I used in a Rob Zombie horror movie. I also just bought a 1967 Blackface Fender Super Reverb Amp on tour in Portland, OR recently that I love. I used to collect a lot of gear, (I still have more than most folks), but I’m at a place in my life where “stuff” and clutter is starting to bore me. I’ve sold most of my guitars, Amps, Motorcycles, hot rods, vintage clothes. Any nerd with money can go online and buy that stuff now and that’s kind of stolen some of the romance for me. It’s liberating to be free of it and write my songs on an old banged up 1957 Silvertone guitar that I bought at a garage sell for 20 bucks."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"My show has more to offer than most shows I see. Sorry, I don’t want to come off cocky, but there’s a lot of one-trick ponies out there. I see the acoustic singer-songwriter guy who’s mellow for 90 minutes. I see the full band that rocks out for 90 minutes. I see the country guy who keeps everything under control and holds back for 90 minutes. I see the instrumentalist who is wanking off for 90 minutes. I have some of all of that in my show. Once I stopped selling liquor in bars, and started selling tickets at concerts, I realized that the entertainment portion of my show was crucial in order to compete with these big corporate acts. My show is a journey with a beginning, middle and end. What’s my favorite thing about a venue, two words: sold out!"
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"The one thing I’d like the public to know about my music is that I’m not doing this to become famous and that there are important messages in my music on how we should treat each other and our world. Sure, there’s drinkin’ and breaking up songs in there too, but there’s a whole lot more. My music is a product of all the great singer-songwriters, all the great guitar pickers, all the great blues and soul singers, and all the great rock ‘n’ roll and country singers I’ve heard throughout my life. Uniforms and genres are for sales people and marketing people, but great songs are the universal language whether you’re in Shanghai, Buenos Aires or Flatrock, Mississippi."
7. Do you have any other upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"I just signed a book deal with Da Capo publishing. The book will be about everything from playing guitar with Waylon, Cash, Glen Campbell & Doug Sahm to making movies with Rob Zombie to my childhood growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border. I also have a new radio show on Gimmecountry.com that’s doing really well called “Jesse Dayton’s Badass Country Show”. I tell stories and play a bunch of cool music. Check it out y’all...it’s free!"