by Jesse Dayton
1. Never Started Living (Until I Started Loving You)
2. Date With the Angels
3. I Dream Too
4. Heartbreak California
5. Wayward Soul
6. Don’t Take Yesterday
7. Panhandle Jane
8. Mama’s Guilty Fool
9. Letter to Home
10. Never Been Too Good at Goodbyes
11. One Life Stand
12. Roses Ain’t Enough
by Jesse Dayton
First things first … Jesse “stole” the name Hey Nashvegas! from a coffee shop in Nashville that had Nashvegas written on the wall. Most of the record was recorded in Nashville at Oceanway Studio, which is in this big ol’ church on Music Row.
Formerly leader the of the Road Kings, the second solo album from Jesse Dayton offers up a healthy dose of personal stories and melodies that fall even further into pure country than any previous record. Perhaps with more vocal character than the mainstream would cater to, Dayton nonetheless embraces a slicker, more Nashville-like production on Hey Nashvegas (hence the poking comparison in the title). Songs such as “Never Started Living” and “One Life Stand” have his trademark clever wordiness over his always top-notch musicians and guitar playing, while “Date With the Angels” is an example of Dayton’s ability to evoke imagery with solid, enthusiastic lyrics (though bordering on over-singing at times).
His voice is especially kind when coupled with others, and he gets some help from Mandy Barnett on “Hey Nashvegas” and “Don’t Take Yesterday.” Even the Dixie Chicks stop by to sing backups on the most fun song of the lot, “Panhandle Jane.” The bittersweet longing of “Letter to Home” is good as any Merle Haggard song, and the south of the border stylings of “Heartbreak California” is a welcome and successful change of pace. What makes this album impressive is Dayton’s insightful take on everyday heartbreaks, as told through a classic formula of country and with just the right amount of personality.
Source – Review of Hey Nashvegas by Review by Ian Trumbull for AllMusic.com
An excellent third album here from Texas-based honky-tonker Jesse Dayton. Originally recorded in 1998 for the now-defunct Justice label, and shelved until now, this offers up a dozen tracks showing different facets of Dayton’s talents as a singer, writer and guitarist.
Blessed with a smooth baritone, Dayton makes even the more obviously radio-friendly numbers here (“Date With the Angels” and “I Dream Too”) sound more country than they’d perhaps be in less inspired hands. But it’s on stone cold country numbers like “Don’t Take Yesterday” (with Mandy Barnett on backing vocals) and “Never Started Living” where Dayton really shines, along with the fiddle of Johnny Gimble and the steel guitar work of Brian Thomas. Ditto the peppy western swing of “Panhandle Jane,” featuring backing vocals from the Dixie Chicks.
A fine release worthy of mention in the same breath as recent releases by other contemporary Texas country singers like Dale Watson and Roger Wallace.
Source – Review by Jon Johnson for Country Standard Time
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