Aboard the Outlaw Country Cruise in January, Jesse Dayton proved to be one of the most popular draws, attracting a boisterous crowd at every stage he played. Credit his charismatic stage presence and a hard-to-pin-down mix of old-school country, rock and punk. Dayton nods to all of those styles on his upcoming album, Mixtape Volume 1, a collection of covers by the Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Neil Young and Jackson Browne.
Ahead of the LP’s August 9th release, the Beaumont, Texas, multi-tasker (he’s a guitarist, songwriter, author and zombie-movie filmmaker) posted his version of Browne’s song “Redneck Friend.” The 1973 original was a bar-band rocker, and Dayton stays largely faithful to that recording here, adding only a touch more grease. On other tracks, he indulges much greater departures: the Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” for instance, becomes a pedal-steel lament.
As a guitarist, Dayton has played for a diverse group of names, from Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash to X and Duff McKagan, adding licks to the Guns N’ Roses bassist’s new solo album Tenderness. In 2018, Dayton released the protest song “Charlottesville,” which took aim at white nationalism. He’s set to tour the U.K. in June, before returning to the states in support of Mixtape.
Here’s the tracklist for Mixtape Volume 1:
1. “Redneck Friend” (Jackson Browne)
2. “Harvest” (Neil Young)
3. “If You Could Read My Mind” (Gordon Lightfoot)
4. “Bankrobber” (The Clash)
5. “She’s a Heartbreaker” (ZZ Top)
6. “Country Comfort” (Elton John)
7. “She Does It Right” (Dr. Feelgood)
8. “Whole Lotta Rosie” (AC/DC)
9. “Just What I Needed” (The Cars)
10. “State Trooper” (Bruce Springsteen)