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Jesse Dayton

Banjo & Sullivan -- The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978

To make a long story short, Banjo & Sullivan is a fictional band -- the faded hillbilly hayseed duo that ominously disappears from the Kahiki Palms Motel in Rob Zombie's latest full-length horror feature, The Devil's Rejects. Played by Houstonian Lew Temple and Geoffrey Lewis (Clint Eastwood's sidekick in Every Which Way But Loose), the duo presumably gets murdered by a gang of redneck thrill-killers.

When Zombie asked Temple what he thought Banjo & Sullivan might've sounded like -- they're supposed to have been a hot Nashville commodity in the early '70s -- Temple gave Zombie a copy of Jesse Dayton's Country Soul Brother. Zombie was pleased with what he heard and told Temple to get Dayton to L.A. as fast as possible.

After a quick conceptual meeting with Zombie, Dayton and Temple holed up in a hotel room with a bottle of White Label Jim Beam and an acoustic guitar and emerged the next day with a handful of songs. Zombie was pleased -- according to Dayton, "he almost busted a gut he was laughing so hard" -- and he made a few calls to Universal's record division, got a deal for the record and sent Dayton back to Austin with the seed money to record a faux greatest hits album.

Dayton's take on '70s country clichés may be the party 
record of the year.
Dayton's take on '70s country clichés may be the party record of the year.

Politically incorrect and sexually explicit, the album includes truckin' songs ("I Don't Give a Truck"), cheatin' drinkin' songs ("I'm Home Getting Hammered While She's Out Getting Nailed"), dopin' songs ("I'm Tryin' to Quit But I Just Quit Tryin'"), outlaw songs ("Killer on the Lamb") and even a whacked-out cover of "Free Bird," touching on all the straight-out-of-Deliverance country music clichés along the way. Recorded with Dayton's road band and some of Austin's top country session players, The Ultimate Collection features fabulous picking, hilarious one-liners and over-the-top imagery. It may well be the wait-till-you-hear-this novelty/party record of the year -- although I doubt we'll hear "Dick Soup" or the S&M-themed "Honeymoon Song" on 93Q anytime soon.

 
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