New Album Review

Jesse Daniel Sings My Kind of Country

Indie-Country-Outlaw Jesse Daniel comes out of the gate swinging with 2024 release “Countin’ The Miles.”

I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing Daniel and Co. in Dunn, NC last year to which he did not disappoint, and this album is no different.

A Coastal California cowboy of his own making, Daniel revels in an artful preservation of the country sound, an amalgamation of genre conventions everywhere from Buck Owens to Waylon Jennings.

Simply put, Jesse Daniel makes damn good country.

That being said, Daniel is a live artist through and through – the album is good, but it pales in comparison to what he and his band are able to accomplish on stage.

Tracks like “Golden State Rambler” and “Cut Me Loose” are fun, driving tunes – but something is missing from them.

The chicken-picking on “Cut Me Loose” is jaw dropping in a decidedly Jerry Reed manner, but cut on a slick digital master feels slightly hollow.

Some music needs the grit of a tape, some music needs an amp’s fuzz or the shuffle of a crowd to truly sing and I think that’s the case for Jesse Daniel’s latest effort.

It’s a good album, it’s a danceable album – but it’s too clean, it’s too good.

A hardscrabble man in his own right, Daniel cut his teeth drumming in punk bands before falling into a spiral of addiction and brushes with the law.

The tumult of his past lends itself to a genuine, hard earned grit absent from most mainstream country, but he loses that edge in the utter perfection that “Countin’ The Miles” is.

“Countin’ The Miles” may be some of his finest songwriting to date and his band has never sounded cleaner, but as a long-time listener it only feels like the tip of the iceberg as far as his music is concerned.

This album is a perfect first foray into not only his catalogue but the genre itself; approachable and digestible, Daniels makes no qualms about what he’s there do to.

But Jesse Daniel is an artist who needs to be seen – or rather heard – to be believed.

So strap on your dancing boots and go find him at a honky tonk…or for those of us more locationally challenged, I suppose his live album “My Kind of Country Live at the Catalyst” will have to do.

– Bodhi.

By Bodhi

Human Dewey Decimal System for all things music and movies, purveyor of useless knowledge.