“People say I’m crazy,” claims Jaime Wyatt on Neon Cross. “And you know they’re goddamn right.” Now, crazy might be pushing it. But make no mistake: The alt-country singer-songwriter ain’t no choirgirl. She made clear as crystal (meth) on her 2017 album Felony Blues. Three years later, she’s back with more unflinchingly honest tales of sin, salvation and survival that come straight from the wrong side of the tracks (and sport titles like Sweet Mess, Rattlesnake Girl and the unforgettable Demon Tied To A Chair In My Brain). Even better: She’s got second-generation outlaw and producer Shooter (son of Waylon) Jennings riding shotgun on these shit-kicking rockers and lonesome last-call ballads, and she has stellar assists from guitarist Neal Casal (who passed shortly after making the album) and Jennings’ mom Jessi Colter. We should all be so crazy.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “If there’s one lesson to be gleaned from Neon Cross, the newest release from singer, songwriter and guitarist Jaime Wyatt, it’s that life, in all its inherent messiness, goes on. And through it all — good times and bad, triumph and trouble, dreaming and desperation — Wyatt continues, to borrow the title of one of her new songs, just L I V I N. To be sure, there’s a whole lot of livin’ in the 11 tracks on Neon Cross, from the whisky-soaked honky tonks outlined in the heated and hungry title track, where Wyatt, with “pitiful perfume, dark glasses, gold liquor and alligator shoes,” plies her trade from the stage, to the mountains of pain, regret and loss baked into the slow-burning soul groove of By Your Side, which the artist 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,” to the stark solitude of Sweet Mess, where Wyatt, in the throes of a crumbling relationship, opines that “just like all the rest, I’ll be forgotten.” “I tried not to have any filter with these songs,” Wyatt says about her open-book approach to writing. “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.” She pauses and lets out a slight laugh. “It sounds so dramatic, but that’s the truth.”