Musician, actor, writer, director, producer. What can't Jesse Dayton do and do well? While still in his teens, Dayton began his journey with his rockabilly trio, The Road Kings. Globetrotting the world playing his Texas infused American, country music lead to releasing his highly acclaimed solo debut album, Raising Cain with help from Texas lumiaries, Doug Sham and Flaco Jimenez. As a guitar slinger, Jesse was hired for live and studio work by country luminaries Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush and Ray Price.
Jesse formed his own label in 2002, Stag Records, and began his most prolific recording period. Stag was established with the re-issue of Tall Texas Tales, which he calls his “singer/songwriter record.” It was quickly followed by the release of Hey Nashvegas. His next release was recorded in Austin, and was supported by some of the best musicians the music-centric city has to offer, and the beginning of his good as gold partnership with ace engineer Steve Chadie (Willie Nelson, Sublime). Country Soul Brother, is an effective distillation of honky-tonk, rockabilly, soul and folk and even includes an unlikely cover version of the Cars' "Just What I Needed."
Banjo & Sullivan, is the fictitious country duo sprung from the Rob Zombie horror epic The Devil’s Rejects. The result was the faux ‘Greatest Hits’ album Banjo & Sullivan: The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978, which includes what has become a Dayton classic, "I'm Home Getting Hammered While She's Out Getting Nailed." Jesse’s, South Austin Sessions, released in 2006, draws a nod to some of his influences including Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Jim Lauderdale and ZZ Top.
Duets with "Hillbilly Princess" Brennen Leigh fuel some classic standards with signature vintage Dayton sound, as does the Rob Zombie requested horror-billy band, Captain Clegg And The Night Creatures who managed to mesh Buck Owens and Iggy Pop for the film Halloween 2 and subsequent 40-city tour with Zombie. Dayton's part in the film lead to his quickly getting cast in indie thriller, Sinner. Given his exposure to film, Dayton tried his hand at penning and directing the successful indie horror film, Zombex, thrilling audiences in the US and abroad.
With life on full-throttle, Jesse still manages to continue playing and creating music. His latest release, One For The Dance Halls was inspired by some of the greats: Ernest Tubb & The Texas Troubadours, Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Willie Nelson & The Family Band, George Strait and the Ace In The Hole Band.
Jesse added producer to the long list of hats he wears. He owns the credit on many recordings from other artists, including most recently Mike Stinson’s critically acclaimed, The Jukebox In Your Heart, and Michael Des Barres’ soul-inspired, Frontman.
And again shifting gears, Mr. Dayton has portrayed legendary political satirist and novelist Kinky Friedman in the stage production, Becoming Kinky: The World According to Kinky Friedman. Jesse demonstrates his affinity for Kinky Friedman's sincere side by taking on "Marilyn and Joe" and "Lady Yesterday." On the release: Jesse Sings Kinky, the singer, guitarist, actor, and director gives the material a bonafide "kick in the ass," with quickened tempos and solos as sharp as Friedman's wit. Having portrayed the would-be governor in Becoming Kinky, the deeper-voiced Dayton doesn't stoop to imitation. He faithfully enhances.
What's next for Jesse? Stay tuned to find out! We're sure it'll likely be just as successful as everything else he touches.