By Roger Sharman
Idaho’s Jessie Dayne and the Sagebrush Drifters have just released their debut album ‘Poison Creek’. As I’ve heard folks say good things about them, I recently listened to the two tracks they had up on Spotify; ‘She Wears a Ring’ and ‘Good Whiskey, Bad Choices’, and I really liked their authentic sound. It’s right up my street.
Always being one to try and promote up and coming bands. Hopefully some of you readers will feel the same, jump on this bandwagon and enjoy the record, tell your friends all about them too.
That being said, they’re not total novices. Jesse Dayne and the Sagebrush Drifters already have a reputation as being one of the hardest working road bands around. They’ve been together since 2018 and in that time, they’ve opened for the likes of Jeff Crosby, Reckless Kelly, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Steel Woods, Jackson Taylor and the Sinners and another amazing band from the area, one of my favourites in fact, Tylor and the Train Robbers.
Jesse Dayne and the Sagebrush Drifters are a good old-fashioned Country band with more than a little red dirt influence, a bit of soul and a bit of blues thrown in to the mixing pot. very much in the style of bands like Turnpike Troubadours and Reckless Kelly. ‘Poison Creek’ should see this band spoken about in the same breath as those bands, they certainly deserve to be on this evidence.
Straight off the bat the album’s off to a magnificent start with ‘Wild Horses’. Immediately it hits you with the customary red dirt fiddle, sumptuous harmonies, and Jesse’s familiar yet somehow different vocal, and I can’t quite put my finger on what that is yet. Hopefully it’ll come to me before the end of the review.
Listen here –
‘The Showman’ is a rocker in which Jesse’s tone really comes to the fore. This song really demonstrates the tightness and togetherness of the band and a gorgeous good ol’ Honky Tonk piano solo added to boot, superb work on the keyboards in fact!
‘Western Wonder’ is a song that pays homage to the hardworking cowboys and beauty of Idaho. and one of its familiar plants, the Sagebrush, a native to semiarid plains and mountain slopes of western North America. The fiddle is the real focal point of this track
‘Whiskey and Tears’ is a waltz. with a bit of a haunting harmony accompanying the fiddle. The band really capture the mood of the song. Pedal Steel always adds to the drama of a song, and is the essence of a good old fashioned country song like this.
The two previously released singles, mentioned earlier, both appear on ‘Poison Creek’.’ She Wears a Ring’ instantly had me thinking this sounds like it could be a Randy Rogers Band song (minus Randy’s raspy tones), which is never a bad thing.
The tempo is upped again or the second rocker on the album, ‘Outta my Mind’, which will get people up on the dancefloors, jiving away. The song takes a quite unexpected, but not unpleasant twist with its bridge, which to my ear is total bad-assery at work, listen to the record, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
‘The Ballad of Poison Creek’ is one of the standout tracks on the album for me. I’ve always been a fan of a good intro, and the intro on this track is a particularly fine one, its Country music stripped back to its purest, just acoustic guitar and pedal steel and it’s beautiful, as is the rest of the song.
‘Good Whiskey, Bad Choices’ is the second single on the album, and is another good old fashioned, slow burning country song where Jesse really shows a different dimension to his vocals, and demonstrates the power he has in his voice. The harmony on this song is really to die for as well.
That old Telecaster really let’s rip and is let off the reins for the first time on this album on ‘Honky Tonk Highway’. What I found really enjoyable about his track is the band’s performance particularly. It really made me appreciate the togetherness of this band once again.
The record is rounded off in suitable fashion by ‘Home’, which I really think captures the very essence of this band, it typifies their sound to me. Whether I’m right or wrong remains to be seen, I’ll find out for sure, as I’ll be taking a close interest in the future of this group.
Incidentally, the album launch for this is at Highway 30 Music Festival, and at the time of writing they will be playing in the couple of hours, so they must be really excited right about now, and I’m sure they’ll get the crowd going. Anyway, don’t just take it from me. Listen to this record, you’ll thoroughly enjoy it, like I have.