Jaime Wyatt Reveals New Song & Album, “Neon Cross”
Few performers in the last few years have embodied the Outlaw honky tonk spirit and injected it with a dose of West Coast and Bakersfield flavor like Jaime Wyatt. That’s one of the reasons her debut country EP Felony Blues ended up being nominated for the Saving Country Music 2017 Album of the Year. Full of grit and honesty, it was the true story of getting busted for robbing her heroin dealer and ending up in a California penitentiary that put a potency behind her music few others can present.
Now she’s back with a full LP called Neon Cross to be released by New West records on May 29th, and is once again being as honest and unapologetically country as ever, damn what the public thinks. Produced by regular tour mate Shooter Jennings, Wyatt bares her soul in 11 songs with appearances by Shooter, his mom Jessi Colter, and multiple instrumental contributions from Neal Casal, who passed away tragically in 2019.
“I tried not to have any filter with these songs,” Wyatt says, “Because I’ll be honest—it feels like I’m gonna die if I don’t tell people how I feel and who I am. It sounds so dramatic, but that’s the truth.”
Whether that’s in the song “By Your Side,” which she says she wrote “after my dad died and my best friend overdosed, and I wasn’t able to show up for either of them because I was loaded,” or in the song “Rattlesnake Girl” where she reveals for the first time in her music that she’s gay, it’s once again the honesty coming from Wyatt that makes her music so compelling.
“I’m not, like, on the internet with flying rainbows,” she says, “[But] I’m also basically coming out to the world with this record. My experience with recovery made me realize I lost years of my life being in the closet and living a lie and trying to be someone else. I just can’t do it anymore. And yeah, I’m scared there are people that like country music that aren’t gonna like that I’m gay. But ultimately I’m going to die if I can’t be who I am.”
But people that like country music shouldn’t care who Wyatt chooses to bed down with. What they care about is that Jaime Wyatt is country, and boldly keeping the twang and spirit of honest songwriting alive, as can be heard in the title track from the album that includes that Palomino drive in the rhythm that made her first record so infectious (listen below).
“Shooter’s my friend and, yeah, he’s Shooter Jennings,” Wyatt says. “But when it comes to the studio I don’t care who you are—I’m really, really decisive about what I want, so I’ve got to be able to work with you. And what really sold me on Shooter is that he understands grooves—he gets how to instruct a band to build a groove that is so powerful underneath a song. And it’s crazy because that’s what Waylon did. He always had these rad country songs with these super-weird, like, funky rock ‘n’ roll grooves under them. He would take things to interesting and unexpected places. Shooter has that same instinct.”
Born in Los Angeles but now living in Nashville, Wyatt brings a unique spirit to her music that separates her from the herd of throwback hipsters in Nudie suits, or self-professed Outlaws with little real world experience to back it up.
“I mean, honestly, I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere,” she says, while acknowledging she’s an introvert. “But that’s fine—I wouldn’t want to get too comfortable. Because as an artist, being unique is my greatest asset. So if I were to fall into a scene, I probably wouldn’t push myself to really make something that is captivating. It’s like John Lennon said—there’s nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. But hopefully you can at least put a new spin on it. I’m just a songwriter, and I spend a good portion of my life in barrooms performing and worshipping country music and rock ‘n’ roll and telling my story. And I do it because I believe in the power of music, and I believe that music has saved my life in so many ways. And that belief is a powerful thing.”
Neon Cross Track List:
1. “Sweet Mess”
2. “Neon Cross”
3. “L I V I N”
4. “Make Something Outta Me”
5. “By Your Side”
6. “Just a Woman” (Featuring Jessi Colter)
7. “Goodbye Queen”
9. “Rattlesnake Girl”
10. “Hurt So Bad” (Featuring Shooter Jennings)
11. “Demon Tied to a Chair in My Brain”
February 27, 2020 @ 12:11 am
A whole new album of Jaime’s music! Going to be a treat!
February 27, 2020 @ 12:37 am
so …I like to listen to the music before I read the ‘backstory’ to the posted songs here.
so I did that with JW’s tune . it didn’t sound very country to my ear . I missed a strong lead instrument presence…a musical hook , a ‘character ‘ about the sound ( a la kacey or dori freeman , emily scott robinson , etc.. ) . ‘ generic’ was the first word tha came to mind .and I also wanted to avoid using the word boring but it looks like I won’t be able to .
I want to like someone who obviously works hard at their music . I want to like JW ( believe me I do JW ) but i’m gonna say that I know I would get at least as much from an acoustic/vocal version of this particular track as the posted version for the reasons stated above AND because I can’t hear the lyric/vocal . I will try to find the lyric ….but I can’t help feeling that THAT shouldn’t be my responsibility . I hope someone will counter my concerns because, and I will say it again , I WANT to like JW but I’m having a real tough time finding a reason to . I welcome someone telling me ‘fuck off albert …here’s why you need to pay attention to JW “
Wilson Pick It
February 27, 2020 @ 4:31 am
It’s okay, you don’t have to like it.
I happen to like it.
February 27, 2020 @ 5:18 am
You didn’t like Feathered Indians which is one of greatest songs of the past five years so wouldn’t expect that you would like this. I find this JW song decent but not great. Sort of in your camp on this.
February 27, 2020 @ 8:12 pm
She’s more like a mood, Albert.
I hear her like a Lucinda Williams without a poet for a father. I like Jaime. There are still good songs in her. I hope she hangs out with crafty people.
You’re right about this song and right not to write her off. Like me you probably like her wounded and languid voice over that gallop rhythm. Maybe what the song needs is some quiet, or a quieter verse. More “chiaroscuro.”
How’s that for a nickel word?
February 28, 2020 @ 10:02 am
listened to jaime sing for Hal Ketchum at the tribute and her voice nearly brought me to tears . that’ll spoil you ….
February 27, 2020 @ 1:02 am
I can’t wait for the album to drop.
Heard by your side three or four times in person and totally love it. Her voice is fantastic in person and I’m amped to see what comes out on the album.
February 27, 2020 @ 4:04 am
Finally!! Been looking forward to this for a while. I heard Rattlesnake Girl all the way back in December on the outlaw station on XM radio. If both of these songs are any indication how the rest of the record will be, it will be a front runner for album of the year.
February 27, 2020 @ 5:52 am
She’s fucking great and I can’t wait to hear it!
February 27, 2020 @ 9:52 am
I’ve listened to this song a few times and would say its not one of my favorites from her. The production is also a bit weird to me too. And am I the only one who noticed that the chorus sounds like “Your Loving Saves Me” from her last album?
Anyway, I’m still anxious to hear the rest, based on how good Felony Blues was. She seems like a cool person too, I hope she stays recovered.
February 27, 2020 @ 11:29 am
Absolutely pumped. So much love for all of this!!!
February 27, 2020 @ 11:56 am
Not the kind of country music I was wanting, maybe I should just wait on an entire album before I write her off.
February 27, 2020 @ 12:42 pm
Great performer – saw her on the Outlaw Cruise as well as a show here in Memphis, where she opened for Cody Johnson. I’m sad to say that at the local show people in the audience were busy talking and visiting, so disrespectfully much that my husband got angry and could hardly enjoy Cody Johnson. Jaime did not let it faze her. Hopefully she will be the headliner next time and people won’t be so rude.
February 27, 2020 @ 1:16 pm
damn, i missed her in Memphis??
the local crowd doesn’t surprise me, for Memphis to be a music city, they’re not super supportive of small acts. Seen the same band in Memphis and Little Rock in the same summer and the LR crowd was at least 3x the Memphis crowd
February 27, 2020 @ 1:35 pm
I understand that’s why a lot of acts skip over Memphis – we don’t pre-buy tickets so the bands don’t think they can make money here due to poor attendance. Plus the poverty rate here means a large swath of the population literally CAN’T buy tickets. Things seem to have gotten better lately, though.
February 27, 2020 @ 1:51 pm
Great news. Felony Blues is one my favourite country records of the past few years – looking forward to this.
February 27, 2020 @ 2:18 pm
I really don’t now much about her but but she does have nice voice and when I read the article I remember reading parts of it before…Also, she’ll be coming to Stockholm americana 2020 this summer. Together with Shooter Jennings, Colter Wall, Lucinda Williams, Courtney Marie Andrews and others. https://www.sthlmamericana.se/ I think Michaela Anne also coming even though she’s not on the line up yet.
Side note: Klara Söderberg har formed an Country Music Club I Stocholm (“Country klubbben”) And she said they would be concentrating mainly on covers from the 30s-70s.
One cover was a “Milwaukee, Here I Come” George Jones/ Brenda Carter, It’s pretty good. But David Ritschard who sings George Jones part is also trying to sound like George Jones, and yes, he does sound a bit like George but is unfortunately also exaggerating it a bit. https://twitter.com/sonicmagazine/status/123116056
February 27, 2020 @ 6:04 pm
“Demon Tied To A Chair In My Brain” Dax Riggs cover! I miss him – and Hank3.
February 27, 2020 @ 8:52 pm
I think Dax is working on something. I know, I know, that’s been the story for years, but I think it may be true this time.
February 27, 2020 @ 9:50 pm
Man I hope so. I didn’t discovered him til a couple years after his last album so I’ve been waiting less than most. Plus I had so much back catalogue to listen to… But still would like to hear some more. Last news I even heard of him was him declining an Acid Bath reunion.
February 28, 2020 @ 1:09 pm
Jamie if you’re reading this unlike most readers here im cool with all that gay shit etc. Totally hip to it so drop me a line. Trig knows how you can reach me.
February 29, 2020 @ 8:06 am
I hear shades of Dwight Yoakum in this
April 21, 2020 @ 11:42 am
I love that voice..unique, honest, and sung like she means it, every damn word. Like our mam’s tol’ us (or should have) if you can’t say somethin nice, don’t say nothin. It took prison to wake me up too, and I hear the HONESTY in her voice and songs. She’ll only better with time.