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Jesse Dayton

Hey Nashvegas! – 2001 (Stag)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Jesse Dayton

An excellent third album here from Texas-based honky-tonker Jesse Dayton. Originally recorded in 1998 for the now-defunct Justice label, and shelved until now, this offers up a dozen tracks showing different facets of Dayton's talents as a singer, writer and guitarist.

Blessed with a smooth baritone, Dayton makes even the more obviously radio-friendly numbers here ("Date With the Angels" and "I Dream Too") sound more country than they'd perhaps be in less inspired hands. But it's on stone cold country numbers like "Don't Take Yesterday" (with Mandy Barnett on backing vocals) and "Never Started Living" where Dayton really shines, along with the fiddle of Johnny Gimble and the steel guitar work of Brian Thomas. Ditto the peppy western swing of "Panhandle Jane," featuring backing vocals from the Dixie Chicks.

A fine release worthy of mention in the same breath as recent releases by other contemporary Texas country singers like Dale Watson and Roger Wallace. (Stag, 3327 Colonel Ct., Richmond, Texas 77469 or e-mail E-Mail: gcmoore@att.net)