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Stars Pick Their Top Five: This week, Jesse Dayton

click to enlarge Jesse Dayton: Inspires the ghost of Harry Crews to lift a toast.

Jesse Dayton: Inspires the ghost of Harry Crews to lift a toast.

This Texas reprobate grooves like an old Jerry Reed side, flexes like early X, and spins literate yarns full of busted-luck everydayisms that'd inspire ghosts of old Townes Van Zandt and lowlife novelist Harry Crews to lift countless toasts. This shout-along singer-songwriter has pockets of mad followers the world over too, and it makes sense—see, Dayton believes in the devil's music, from the depths of his troubled soul, and there's no one working today who can turn campfire storytelling into flame-red rock 'n' roll like he can. His name has often been mentioned alongside Waylon, Cash and Nelson, even when he wasn't playing or recording with them. When X guitarist Billy Zoom was down, Dayton filled in. That's the kind of dude Dayton is. His brand new album, The Revealer, is crammed with some real true shit too, fist-pumpers rooted in what he calls his "insane childhood and all the desperate characters" he was "subjected to" along the way. It's one of those from-the-heart records made for no other reason than it had to be made, and you can hear that. It's music that's so rare anymore, yet so goddamned necessary. It shows us how phoniness is dead. Here Dayton chooses five albums that changed his life.

See his rollicking three-piece with the Supersuckers and The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn on Sunday, Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress; $8-$10. 21+.

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1. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson et al—Wanted!-The Outlaws!: This was played on the radio every hour where I grew up in Texas ... soundtrack to my early childhood. I played on Waylon's Right For The Time record in '97.

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2. Lightnin' Hopkins—Country Blues: Heard it as a kid from my nanny and was later given a copy as a youngster by Clifford Antone who owned Antones Night Club in Austin, Texas. There was no escaping Lightning ... best storyteller blues, and picker, from Texas.

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3. X—Los Angeles: If the Ramones owned NYC and The Clash owned London, then X definitely owned LA. This was the record that made me rethink who I was and how I could join the "revolution." Filling in for Billy Zoom and playing with John, Exene and DJ was a dream come true.

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4. George Jones—Blue & Lonesome: My first concert was a George Jones show and he didn't show up, hence the nick name "No Show Jones". George was the King of Beaumont TX where I grew up. The best country singer of all time in my book.

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5. Jimi Hendrix—Hendrix in the West: I used the little record player in my room as a kid and played these riffs over and over and over. While other guitar players like Jerry Reed and Cliff Gallup were a big influence, Jimi taught me how to think outside the box.  


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