Jesse Dayton

Jesse Sings Kinky (Stag Records)

Texas Platters

Jesse Dayton

Jesse Sings Kinky (Stag Records)

Jesse Dayton demonstrates his affinity for Kinky Friedman's sincere side by taking on "Marilyn and Joe" and "Lady Yesterday" instead of "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed." On 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. An instrumentally busy take on "Highway Cafe" tops the earlier Tom Waits cover and stands out as the highlight. Given Friedman's iconoclastic pen and Dayton's musical craftsmanship, Jesse Sings Kinky offers new appreciation for both. Does he who tributes ooze charisma like his celebrant? Close, but no cigar.

***.5

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