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Stars Pick Their Top 5! This Week: Jesse Dayton

Jesse Dayton was born in Texas, but listeners don't need to be told that. His bold voice, energetic guitarwork and general Americana bravado sounds as classic as those he's worked with: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Releasing studio albums since the mid-'90s, Dayton has only turned more energetic and rebellious with age. While his earlier albums employ a more traditional country sound, he gradually ventured into the realm of honky tonk. But his newest albums, 2016's The Revealer and 2018's The Outsider, touch on the sounds of outlaw country. But this expansion into more rocking, braggadocious music never gets in the way of Dayton's ability to tell a story, no matter how personal or in-your-face. 

See Jesse Dayton when he hits the Club Congress stage with Mike Stinson. 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. 311 E. Congress Street. $10. 21+

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The Rolling Stones

Some Girls

This record turned me onto the concept of rock 'n' roll being a perfect American hybrid of country music and blues music. Who's cooler than Keef? 

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Sam Cooke

Live at the Harlem Square Club

So much energy. So much swing. OK, Sam is cooler than Keef!

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George Jones

The Grand Tour

Greatest country singer of all time, hence the reason you never hear people copying him because they can't. His voice drops and turns like a pedal steel guitar. 

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Buena Vista

Social Club


This record turned me onto world music. Ry Cooder deserves everything for turning the world onto these musicians. 

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The Clash

London Calling

This record changed my life. After I got this record I cut my hair like Joe Strummer's, bought a black leather motorcycle jacket and told my baseball coach: "Kiss my ass, I'm gonna be a guitar player!" 

More by Jeff Gardner


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