The Santa Cruz native is blazing the trail for a new wave of traditional artists, bringing his kind of country music to stages worldwide.

By Brian Upton
April 10, 2024
Jesse Daniel sits in the driver's seat of his truck with his hand on the steering wheel

Jesse Daniel has been a well-respected name among traditional country music fans for years. Known for his relentless work ethic, roaring live shows, and true-to-life songwriting, he has earned his place among the heavy hitters of today’s industry.

The Santa Cruz native is blazing the trail for a new wave of traditional artists, bringing his kind of country music to stages worldwide. With three full-length studio records and a newly released live album, he continues to rival the greats of the genre with his level of creative output. There are many making traditional country music in modern times, but there is no one making it like Daniel; his sound is uniquely his own while rooted in the tradition of his Bakersfield heroes like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.

“There is so much history of country music here in California. Going back to the Merle Haggard, Buck Ownes, and the Bakersfield sound. It was carried on in the 70’s and 80’s by bands like the Eagles, Gram Parsons, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.” Daniel credits his Santa Cruz County small-town roots for his love of the genre.

For me personally, growing up in Ben Lomond, it (the music) was all over the place. When we had pep rallies in high school, they were playing Alan Jackson. I remember they would do Two Step dancing down at Mill St. Park on Sundays during the summer. Everyone was in their hats and pearl snaps. It was just a wholesome, small-town thing I was lucky to be a part of.

Jesse Daniel
Jesse Daniel album cover of Countin' The Miles

“Countin’ The Miles” marks Daniel’s first time at the helm as the sole producer. Daniel will be in town at the Catalyst on Friday, April 12th, as part of his Spring tour supporting the new album. “I had such a clear vision for this record, so I knew I had to take ownership over every aspect of the instrumentation, arrangement, and sound,” says Daniel. Coming home is always unique for him. “We’ve worked our way up over the years, but it all started right here.

We sell out the Catalyst when we play, and I’m always amazed because I know it started with a real grassroots fan base here in Santa Cruz, but over the years, we started drawing from Watsonville, San Benito County, and even over the hill in the Bay Area. All these people would come to this little beach town to hear some country music.

Recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin with the help of Grammy-winning engineer Jacob Sciba, the album features a stacked lineup of A-list musicians, including two members of George Strait’s Ace In The Hole Band – pianist Ronnie Huckaby and the late Gene Elders, as well as bassist Kevin Smith (a longtime member of Willie Nelson’s Family Band). But while the album bears all the hallmarks of Jesse’s brand of Bakersfield Sound—the twanging guitar tones, crying pedal-steel, and hard-hitting honky-tonk rhythms —Daniel distills every moment with a gritty intensity held over from his punk rock days. It also features the heartfelt and evocative vocals of Jodi Lyford (Daniel’s partner, bandmate, manager, and frequent co-writer) and accomplished musician, hit country songwriter, and producer Jon Randall (guitarist for Emmylou Harris and producer for artists like Dwight Yoakam, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Dierks Bentley among many other accolades) the result is a selection of songs both exquisitely crafted and electrifying in impact.

Jesse and his band have an extensive US and European tour booked for 2024, and there is no telling where this new year may take him.

Jesse Daniel Spring 2024 Tour poster

Remaining Spring Tour Dates

4.10 – Fresno, CA – Strummers
4.11 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
4.12 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
4.13 – Sacramento, CA – Goldfields
4.14 – Chico, CA – Tackle Box
4.16 – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre
4.17 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
4.18 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
4.19 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
4.20 – Salt Lake City, UT – State Room
4.21 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall
4.27 – Rock the Coast Country Cruise
5.16 – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note
5.17 – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
5.18 – Des Moines, IA – xBk
5.19 – Omaha, NE – Bucks
5.22 – Wisconsin Dells, WI – Showboat Saloon
5.23 – Chicago, IL – Carol’s Pub
5.24 – Cleveland, OH – The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
5.25 – Columbus,OH – Rumba Cafe
5.26 – Indianapolis, IN – HI-FI
5.29 – Newport, KY – Southgate House Revival
6.1 – Little Rock, AR at The Whitewater Tavern


More About Jesse Daniel

To pre-order Countin’ The Miles, check on upcoming tour dates and find out more about Jesse Daniel visit his website at

Jesse Daniel band logo

Buy Tickets Online

Tickets for Jesse Daniel’s upcoming performance at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz can be purchased in advance at the venue box office or online.

Buy Tickets Online
The Catalyst Nightclub in Santa Cruz Logo