Jesse Dayton Reviewed
Hey NashVegas! (Stag)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Sept. 28, 2001
Jesse DaytonHey NashVegas! (Stag)
Jesse Dayton returns to the Texas music scene with a vengeance on his third collection of songs, Hey NashVegas! Covering a broad range of styles, electric honky-tonk, accordion-driven Tex-Mex, sweet and smooth Western swing, and tear-in-your-beer ballads, Dayton makes it all look oh-so simple. Hey NashVegas! testifies to how much Dayton has grown as both vocalist and songwriter. He sings with a confidence he's rarely shown in the past, while his variety of musical backdrops, and their accompanying melodies, are done with skill and charm. With some of Texas' most talented musicians on hand as sidemen (Johnny Gimble, Flaco Jimenez, Floyd Domino, and Mickey Raphael), and vocal assistance from the likes of Mandy Barnett, Jim Lauderdale, and the Dixie Chicks, Dayton could easily have been overwhelmed. Yet he wrote 12 of the album's 13 tracks, and from the bracing title track that kicks the set off to the barroom weeper "Don't Take Yesterday" and the bluesy, electric "Roses Ain't Enough" that ends the disc, it's Dayton's show and he manages to keep it interesting, and more importantly, keep it country. The only real problem stems from Dayton's lyrics. Some of his wordplay seems forced at times, and his subject matter is not especially novel, yet the musical fervor and guile of Hey NashVegas! ultimately atone for any such lapses.