On Hey Nashvegas!, Dayton alternately rocks out without trepidation, sings the blues like he means it and lays down pure honky-tonk laments (like the standout "Don't Take Yesterday," featuring Mandy Barnett) that would make his predecessors proud. Joined by the Dixie Chicks on the swinging "Panhandle Jane," Dayton half-shouts his way through the homage to Bob Wills.
Other guests include pianist Floyd Domino, fiddler Johnny Gimble and accordionist Flaco Jimenez. And Dayton's band is more than able to hold its own in such good company, especially dobro/pedal steel player Brian Thomas. It all comes together on the final track, the hot shuffle "Roses Ain't Enough." Hey Nashvegas! is the sound of a fine writer, singer and musician coming into his own.
Jesse Dayton plays the Echo Lounge Wed., May 22.