Texas rocker jumpin' back into city with 'best tunes yet' ALAN NICHOL HAS ALL THE LATEST BLUES AND ROOTS NEWS.
He is, like last time, a guest of the Jumpin' Hot Club, purveyors of all things rootsy for more than 30 years.
Dayton is from Beaumont, Texas (also hometown of the late Johnny Winter) where the music of his home resounded to the records of George Jones, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams.
When he reached his teens, Dayton tuned in to the Clash and other punk-rockers of the period but still kept his rockabilly bands going.
He released his debut album, Raisin' Cain in 1995 and it reached number one on the Americana chart.
Apart from his solo work - his last album, The Revealer, was his ninth and came out last autumn - Dayton's guitar-work has adorned albums by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and he proved his versatility by playing guitar for the LA punk-rockers, X. He played lead-guitar with Glen Campbell too.
On the subject of his last album, which Dayton described as "my best batch of tunes yet," he had a specific aim in mind.
As he explained it: "I wanted to get great live rootsy sounds, like the records I loved growing up but with a real Texas songwriter, story-telling approach to the lyrics."
Dayton explains: "It seems like most of the retro stuff I hear these days is very paint by numbers, not personal or vulnerable.
"I love what Dylan did on a few of his later records, where he would do a smokin' R&B or country song, but with real story lyrics."
Jesse collaborated on one song with longtime pal, Hayes Carll and on another he sings alongside fellow Austin musician, Brennan Leigh.
The Revealer has been described as "a barn burner gumbo of country, blues, rockabilly and punk, all mixed together for one hell of a guitar record."
Recorded in the same Houston studio where he made that successful debut album as a raw 18-year-old.
Over the course of his career, Dayton has also worked on a regular basis with the film director Rob Zombie (Halloween etc) and something must have rubbed-off because he wrote and directed his own film, Zombex, which included roles for Malcolm McDowell and Walking Dead's Lew Temple.
Jesse Dayton is here with his American band and Sour Mash Trio open the show.
Next Monday night brings more country to the city. Brandy Clark is one of the most successful songwriters currently at work on Nashville's Music Row.
Her songs have been covered by dozens of big names, a list which includes Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes and Kacey Musgraves. She has received plenty of awards/ nominations in the process but she is not from an area usually associated with country music. She is from a small logging-town in Washington state, up in the Pacific north-west. That may well have given her the title of her second album, last year's Big Day in a Small Town (the follow-up to her debut, 12 Stories).
There is an added bonus, too, because Brandy's show in Sage Gateshead's Hall 2 brings a swift return to the region for Jim Lauderdale who knows all there is to know about writing/ singing country songs. The multi-Grammy winner has around thirty albums of his own and has collaborated with a hugely impressive list of musicians (in the broadest sense). Quite a double-bill for country fans.
Durham Cathedral, a first mention for the World heritage site in this column I think, is the scene of a special music night also on Monday. Show of Hands, regular visitors to the area, are doing a tour of cathedrals across the UK and the popular Devon duo have plenty of fans to fill the hallowed place.
Opening the show for them is Kirsty Merryn who has a newly released debut album, She & I, which uses inspirational women - Jessica Mitford, Grace Darling, Lady Emma Hamilton among them - to populate some classy original songs. Tickets are available via the Durham Gala Theatre website.
On Wednesday night, back at Sage Gateshead Hall 2 it is the turn of Lincolnshire-born (although now a Sheffield resident) Martin Simpson who has been a guitar/banjo-playing benchmark for decades.
His finger-picking and slide guitar work have been lauded for years - influencing many other players - and he remains the recipient of more BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and nominations than any other musician.
Simpson invariably mixes British/Irish folk material with its American counterpart, often with blues, gospel, spiritual and Appalachian sources. His new album, Trails & Tribulations, features the distinctive Simpson vocals and shimmering guitar-work on older songs like Jackson C Frank's Blues Run The Game, traditional songs (arranged by Simpson) Reynardine, East Kentucky, Rufford Park Poachers and originals like Thomas Drew, Maps and Ridgeway.
This week and into next week, The Cluny celebrates fifteen years as one of the country's very best smaller venues with its usual eclectic approach to live music. Of particular interest here is the Thursday night visit of Appalachian duo, Anna & Elizabeth. The pair - Anna Gevalt-Roberts and Elizabeth Laprelle - have stirredup huge interest in the ballads, dance tunes and lore of the region in the south-east USA. On a broader front, The Cluny brings soldout shows by Field Music, a return to the venue (perhaps for the last time) of the Magic Band - Captain Beefheart's former outfit fronted by the multi-talented and irrepressible John "Drumbo" French, Blue Rose Code, the Reggae real-deal Culture (featuring Kenyatta Hill), the Lake Poets and even more!
The venue is undoubtedly a huge asset to the city's night-life (apart from being a great pub and eating place) and the list of acts who have passed through the doors - rising acts and established artists alike - is really quite astonishing.