From the release of their debut EP Reckless Country Soul in 1982, Jason And The Scorchers’ hi-octane combination of country storytelling and hard driving rock resulted in some classic recordings for EMI, A&M and the indie label Mammoth. More than a quarter of a century later, and following several break-ups and reunions, the fire is burning as brightly as ever. In 2008 they were deserving recipients of the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Halcyon Times features a new rhythm section of bassist Al Collins and drummer Pontus Snibb, stoking it up alongside the twin dynamos of guitarist Warner E. Hodges and singer Jason Ringenberg. The latter are as essential a rock combination as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, or David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain. The writing credits are shared between Ringenberg, Hodges and a gaggle of friends, including Tommy Womack, Dan Baird and Ginger from the Wildhearts, and the songs range from stories of people on the fringes, like the miners in ‘Beat On The Mountain’ (the kind of historically based song that Ringenberg has always excelled at), to tales of strong women like ‘Mona Lee’. Apart from the occasional slower track like ‘Twang Town Blues’ or the riff-based ‘Days Of Wine And Roses’, this record moves like an 18-wheeler tearing up the highway, with Hodges showing why he’s one of the most underrated lead players around today.
Produced by Warner E. Hodges and Brad Jones, this is perhaps the most consistently powerful album that Jason And The Scorchers have produced since their heyday.