Written by Eddie Ferranti
It is always cool when a local musician returns to his home turf to catch us up on what is going down. Beaumont native country rocker , Mister Jesse Dayton , fit that bill at the acoustic cozy confines of McGonigels Mucky Duck promoting his latest effort “The Outsider”. Dude has dropped out of the hard rock star life style hitting the work out trail and watching his diet- and booze intake. It shows big time in his engaging persona on stage with a clear twinkle in his eye. His tour schedule has been off the rails crazy gigging from LA to NY and jumping on the Willie Nelson & Friends tour playing lead guitar for Ryan Bingham!
Playing two acoustic guitars with only a bass player, Chris Rhoads, JD still smoked the full house with loud renditions of some killer tunes. He mentioned how his touring has been most interesting as of late in that his last gig before this one was in Dallas in front of 20,000 and this was “a little more intimate”! Dayton then busted the joint wide open with blasting “Daddy Was A Badass” and pal Mike Stinson’s powerful and gritty “May Have to Do It (Don’t Have to Like It)” which knocked the joint sideways. He was able to weave tales between songs without bogging down the momentum he instilled from the get go. “Chicken Skin” was about special early days at Anderson Fair when he met Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Recalling Galveston days with Hayes Carll on the porch of the Poopdeck , “Three Pecker Goat”, was a total hoot. He had me in stitches when he said it was “amazing how my glaucoma and back pain reared up when I played in Oregon and Washington recently” in reference to legal hippy lettuce in those states. “Mrs. Victoria” was a heart wrenching tune about an old black woman who helped raise him turning him on to Lightning Hopkins among others.
Rounding out this awesome evening were stud versions of “Like a Possum Ran Over My Grave”, “Boys Town”, and the indict thee Alt-Right protest tune “Charlottesville” which got him a nice spread in Rolling Stone magazine. Kicking us out the door was his epic “I’m at Home Gettin’ Hammered” which brought the spent audience to their feet to embrace one of their own. Dayton has a stud resume that boasts stints as a horror movie director with Rob Zombie to playing lead for the likes of Ray Price to the Supersuckers. His latest album is his tenth and has been KICKIN’ ass and taking names for over thirty-eight years now. I will never forget the first time I hooked up with him at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in Galveston. At the break of his show he searched me out and told me : ” I see you out all the time. How come I don’t know you?!” Thank God I got to know this rebel of a man who deserves some long overdue public acclaim. JD will let you know how he feels whether it be politics or romance, but the message he is preaching the most is how about being nicer to one another for a change? He sure was that to us this night………God bless live music!
Eddie “Edge” Ferranti
Houston Music Review