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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.

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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