Photo by Red Redding

LISTEN: Jesse Dayton’s “Night Brain”

Jesse Dayton will release “Night Brain” — his blues-rock follow-up to last month’s “Baby’s Long Gone” — on Tuesday, January 23. Released as both a single and cinematic music video, “Night Brain” arrives two weeks before the 66th Grammy Awards, where Death Wish Blues — Dayton’s chart-topping collaboration with fellow songwriter and modern-day guitar hero Samantha Fish — has been nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album. The momentum will continue this spring with the release of Dayton’s upcoming solo record, as well as the final leg of the Death Wish Blues world tour.

“Night Brain” shines new light on an artist who earned his first Number 1 album three decades ago. Produced by Shooter Jennings, it’s Dayton at his very best, kicking off with an acoustic intro that gives way to the stomping sounds of a plugged-in power trio. Dayton has always blurred the boundaries between rock & roll, Texas blues, and old-school country, and “Night Brain” bottles that diversity into a three-and-a-half minutes of sharp songwriting and bombastic performances. It’s a song about the long hours after midnight, and it’s guaranteed to keep you awake.

“I first heard the term ‘night brain’ from music executive Chuck Kaye, who used it to refer to his brain bombarding him with every question and scenario imaginable in the middle of the night,” Dayton explains. “Code for insomnia, I realized that I, too, had suffered from this nocturnal ailment and thought, ‘Well, this is probably something everyone goes through, right?’ So whenever anyone else around my house didn’t get much sleep, I’d ask, ‘Got them night brain blues?’ Then eventually I wrote the lyrics in one 30-minute sitting around a blues riff that I simultaneously connected the melody to.”

“Night Brain” offers another taste of a full-length album whose loud, bluesy guitar leads were inspired by everyone from Freddie King to Jimmy Page. Jesse Dayton has never been shy about embracing the full range of his influences — you don’t become a chart-topping songwriter, guitar shredder, author, movie director, actor, screenwriter, frontman, sideman, producer, and road warrior by being shy — but he’s never sounded as authentically himself as he does here. He’s a musical lifer at the peak of his powers, and “Night Brain” helps kickstart a new era.

Look for Dayton at the Ryman Auditorium on February 4th right here in Nashville. GET TICKETS HERE.

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About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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