There are countless stories about the life and music of George Jones and the fictional ones are often indistinguishable from the truth. Singer-guitarist Jesse Dayton adds one more from a personal perspective with “Possum Ran Over My Grave” and its new video (watch the clip above).
Dayton, an East Texas native, uses the stately waltz to recall a characteristic no-show concert during Jones’ troubled period of the Eighties. But upon seeing him a couple years later, he’s flattened by the power of the country legend’s voice. “When it comes to music, there ain’t but a few / who can raise the hair on you,” he sings in a howling baritone, accompanied by images of Dayton in a vintage truck and stomping through the woods. The song appears on Dayton’s 2016 album The Revealer, which was released in September.
“I wanted to go back to my roots in the deep, dark, piney woods of East Texas on this song,” says Dayton. “[George Jones] was like a God to me. The first time I went to see him, though, he didn’t show up!”
In addition to his solo songwriting career, Dayton was tapped by Rob Zombie to create the soundtracks for the horror films The Devil’s Rejects (including that movie’s one-off album by fictional honky-tonk duo Banjo & Sullivan) and Halloween 2. Additionally, Dayton has played guitar for punk legends X, John Doe and the Supersuckers.
Dayton is currently on the road, with a show tonight in Athens, Georgia, followed by performances in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.