Vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Born November 22, 1958, Jason came from a place lost in time, a small hog farm near Sheffield, Illinois. The Ringenberg farm bordered the Rock Island Line railroad track. The farm was built by his grandpa Emmerson, and until the current generation, all of Jason’s relatives farmed in Bureau County. His maternal great-grandfather, Peter VanDeKeere,s was known as “The King of the Belgians” because he would help the Belgian immigrants get started in the Sheffield area by giving them food, a place to stay, or a job on his farm. His father’s Ringenberg ancestors were German Mennonites, a sect related to the Amish. Jason enjoyed a very idyllic, if hard working, childhood on the farm.
With an upbringing like that, one has to wonder how and why he became “one of the most dynamic performers of his generation” (THE LONDON TIMES) or “the king and god of all rock’n’roll frontmen” (THE TENNESSEAN). It must have been the noise of those hog feeders clanging at sunset, because without a doubt Jason did help create the modern genres of Americana/alt-country music, both with the Scorchers and as a hard-edged solo performer. His five solo CDs have consistently raised the bar in the Americana world. In fact, Jason hosted the first Americana Music Association Awards show in 2002.
These days, when not Scorching, he is head-over-heels involved in his children’s music character, Farmer Jason. He won an Emmy for the “It’s a Farmer Jason!” video program running on PBS stations around the country. The past 10 years he has done close to 2,000 shows as Farmer Jason and Jason Ringenberg solo, touring extensively in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
He now lives near Bon Aqua, Tennessee, with his wife Suzy; daughters Kelsey, Addie, and Camille; and a barnyard full of animals.
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Warner E. Hodges
Lead guitar, Vocals
Warner E. Hodges was born in Wurtzberg, Germany, on June 4, 1959 to Ed and Blanche Hodges. Warner's father was a career military man, stationed in Germany at the time. Ed and Blanche also moonlighted at night playing country & western music at USO clubs all over Germany. One night when his parents’ drummer could not show up, Warner was told, "Load your drums, you're playing with us tonight.” When Mr. Hodges spoke, you jumped, and Warner surely did. From there Warner started playing with the various instruments around the house, gravitating to guitar. With an older brother bringing home rock ‘n’ roll records by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Warner found himself absorbing all of it – as well as the traditional country music of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and George Jones that he was playing with his parents.
"At the time I didn’t realize I would develop a mixed style on the guitar,” he said. “Those influences shaped my ability to move in and out of different genres of music in an effortless manor. Hell, I thought all kids played in their parents’ band.” Those years of playing four to five sets a night as a kid were the best school of music that Warner could ever attend.
After his father retired, the family moved to Nashville, the "Mecca Jerusalem" of country music. Warner's mother, Blanche Hodges, was as gifted as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, so it made sense to move there and give it a shot. Though Blanche never managed to grab the golden ring, the move was amazing for Warner. He was now exposed to the cream of the crop when it came to players. He made some music friends at high school, one of them being Perry Baggs. Another Nashville street rocker, Jeff Johnson, came into his orbit, and they all became friends, playing in several bands together until Jason Ringenberg came to town in 1981.
Throughout his years with Jason and the Scorchers, Warner continued to do sessions and play on other people’s records. When the Scorchers went into hiatus in the early 2000s, Hodges put together a rock band called Disciples of Loud and released LET THE BEATINGS BEGIN in 2005. Hodges then hooked up with Stacie and Al Collins about 2006 and started doing various shows with the Stacie Collins Band because of a mutual love of the same types of music. Once again Warner found himself playing guitar at every free moment with a renewed love for the instrument. Playing at the top of his game, Warner released CENTERLINE in 2008 and then joined the band Homemade Sin. With fellow band mates Dan Baird, Keith Christopher, and Mauro Magellan, Homemade Sin has become one of the most exciting live bands on the planet, and yet another format to showcase Hodges’ enormous talent. As VINTAGE GUITAR’s Ward Meeker said, “Warner’s guitar style has always been the perfect mix of soul and grit, class and kick. Pretty much beyond stylistic categorization, there's no denying it comes from all the right places – he's part Don Rich through a Marshall, part Angus Young on a Tele.”
2012 see's the release of his new project, The Bluefields' "Pure", with Dan Baird on bass, and Joe Blanton (Royal Court of China), "a perfect storm…", check'em out.
Warner continues his "frenzied battle" with the guitar. These days it is a matter of principle to play from his heart, not his head. “When I am on, I can go to a place where it just flows, free form. That is where real music is for me: where I am a conduit for a free flowing stream of musical ideas.”
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Al Collins was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, that mythical rock’n’roll capital not always kind to its own progeny. Performing on a circuit that rewarded slavish copying and punished originality, Al stuck to his vision of playing original music, no matter what the cost. Although a bass player at heart, he also wrote songs and played guitar. After high school, Al skipped college and went on to play in several bands before deciding to leave Cleveland. He set out wandering, eventually winding up in Hollywood, California, where he met his future wife and songwriting partner, Stacie. They clicked musically and otherwise, formed a raucous little blues-rock outfit and together embarked on a musical journey that ultimately led them to Nashville, Tennessee.
One night in the fall of 2006, Al and Stacie were playing a gig with then-guitarist Ken McMahan. They’d worked up a version of “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke & Loud, Loud Music” with a level of fervor and energy to rival Jason and the Scorchers. Tearing into it with his back turned to Ken, Al didn’t notice when the Telecaster was handed to somebody in the front row. Suddenly there was a ripping solo like he'd never heard before. Al looked over to see Warner Hodges playing the hell out of Ken’s Tele. The chemistry was immediate. Hodges and the Collinses became fast friends, with Warner eventually playing in their band. So when Kenny Ames left JATS in 2008, Al was the perfect and obvious choice to replace him.
As Collins himself says, “When playing with the Scorchers, I always have original JATS bassist Jeff Johnson in mind, to stay true to the band’s sound. If you try to play too many notes in this band, it all falls apart. You’ve got to keep it simple, at least on the fretting hand. The picking hand however, is working overtime! All downstrokes!” In fact when Jason and the Scorchers were inducted into the Americana Music Association’s Hall of Fame in September of 2008, Jeff was on hand at the after party and witnessed Al playing with the band. The two finally got the chance to meet, with Jeff giving the nod of approval to the new guy.
Al has found the success and contentment in original music that had eluded him in his youth. When he’s not playing with the Scorchers, you can find him touring the world with Stacie Collins, blowing minds wherever they play with their take-no-prisoners live shows and Southern rockin' twang bangin' blues rock.
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Drums, harmony vocals, acoustic guitar
Pontus Snibb officially joined Jason & the Scorchers in 2008, although he has been associated with the band for several years. In 2002 he played guitar with Jason on the “Swedish Mad Cow” tour, then bailed out JATS in 2003 for a Norwegian festival when they had no drummer. He played that show without a rehearsal – and absolutely nailed the parts.
Pontus is one of those rare gifted players that can handle anything you throw at him. In no particular order he sings, plays guitar, writes songs, plays drums, produces records, makes solo Americana CDs, and fronts a brilliant blues-rock band called Bonafide. He is a musician’s musician and already is gaining worldwide respect for his many talents, quite impressive for a man still in his 30s.
Charlie Musselwhite (Tom Waits, INXS, solo artist) recorded one of Pontus’s songs, "Walking Alone," on his Grammy-nominated album "One Night in America." His duet with Jason on his 2007 song, "So the Story Goes," off his “Admiral Street Recordings” CD, was the most downloaded song in the world for one day on EMusic. Pontus’ rock band, Bonafide, has a new album out and is gaining new fans all the time. To quote Dan Baird, "Bonafide sounds like a million Euros.”
Like all true Southern musicians (Pontus is from southern Sweden), Pontus comes from a musical family: his father, Håkan Nyberg, is a well-known drummer in the Swedish rock and blues circuit. Pontus has always played music and probably always will. It is a true testament to his playing that the Scorchers have brought him on board, rather than use someone closer to Nashville. As Jason said, “Yes, we could have gotten someone in the United States to replace Perry, but we feel Pontus has such monstrous talent, he is uniquely able to fill Perry’s shoes. He is that good.”
With Jason and the Scorchers, Pontus brings a youthful energy to the rhythm section, but with a seasoned groove that belies his age. He also sings many harmony parts and even will come out from behind the drums and pick up the acoustic when needed. As veteran producer Brad Jones says: “He may be the best rock drummer I have ever worked with.”
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