Jason Ringenberg: Stand Tall review – Welcome return from Jason and the Scorchers man
Courageous Chicken Music
Anyone with a preference for authentic country music strapped to a punk rock missile would know that, in the early 1980s, Nashville-based Jason and the Scorchers (so said Rolling Stone) “single-handedly re-wrote the history of rock’n’roll in the South”.
Fronted by Jason Ringenberg, the band’s fusion of the two forms greatly assisted the rise of alt country. Ringenberg solo is a more reflective but no less tenacious proposition.
Stand Tall, however, brings the songwriter out of self-imposed exile via a request from the Sequoia National Park to participate in their artist-in-residence programme. The pitch? Spend one month in a mountain cabin, explore trails and groves, and play a handful of shows. Reckoning he had little to lose, Ringenberg accepted, the experience inspiring him to write songs he didn’t think he had in him anymore.
Mixing solo acoustic and full band, songs such as John the Baptist was a Real Humdinger and God Bless the Ramones refer to his pioneering cowpunk past. Here in the Sequoias and John Muir Stood Here submit to the beauty and heritage of the locale. Twin the styles together and you have a very welcome return to the fray.