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Release Info: Jesse Dayton: One For the Dance Halls (2011)
South Austin’s Jesse Dayton might be the biggest country star in the world of Horror movies. His music and performance as fictional Country group Banjo & Sullivan, in Rob Zombie’s 2005 flick, The Devil’s Rejects, is likely the singer’s best selling album, even if many of the film-buffs who bought the record aren’t exactly familiar with his other work. Which, they should be.
While it’s been a while since Dayton’s last studio album, Holdin’ Our Own – an album of duets with Brennen Leigh – but Dayton has stayed busy none the less. Dayton played a large role in helping fellow honky-tonker Mike Stinson become a productive member of the hard core Texas country scene, as he produced Stinson’s superb album from earlier this year. Add to that, his weekly, practically legendary gigs at Austin landmark The Broken Spoke, and his recent work with a campaign to bring greater awareness to the soldiers who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and it’s clear that Dayton is a man with many irons in the dance hall fire.
Speaking of dancehalls, Dayton’s newest record, the hardwood-tested One for the Dance Halls, is just that. This is a new country record for the folks who want to know what happened to the country music of the past. It’s still here, and it’s still vital.
Dayton’s drawl lays itself on top of pedal steel and fiddle in a way that send your toe well beyond simple tapping and into the realm of full-on boot stomping. While some of the harder-charging rockabilly electricity of some of his past works isn’t as prevalent, Dayton’s ability to take time-honored, and in certain cases, slightly stale, sounds that echo from the valleys surrounding Bakersfield, California to the Hill Country of Texas is as uncanny as it is essential to the success of this exemplary ten-song collection.
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