The Revealer (Blue Elan)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Sept. 16, 2016
Equally veteran honky-tonker, guitar punk, Southern soul crooner, and Kinky Friedman acolyte, Jesse Dayton follows an indiscernible muse. The Houston native and longtime local breaks from film to delve autobiographically into his East Texas upbringing, The Revealer revealing itself as characteristically eclectic. Opener "Daddy Was a Badass" spins the wheels of family history, but feels restrained next to the Jerry Lee Lewis-scorching "Holy Ghost Rock N Roller." Though uneven – the odd "Mandolin Wind" sound of "Mrs. Victoria (Beautiful Thing)" and closing Southern rock reach of "Big State Motel" – the LP's standouts stick: the low, Waylon Jennings moan of "The Way We Are" and Brennen Leigh duet "Match Made in Heaven," which recalls the locals' 2007 teaming. Live favorite "I'm at Home Gettin' Hammered (While She's out Gettin' Nailed") and Hayes Carll co-write "Three Pecker Goat" keep Dayton's irreverence at the fore. The Revealer isn't revelatory, but it further cements Dayton as indispensably authentic.