22 February 2010
by L Kent Wolgamott
In 1981, Jason Ringenberg and Warner Hodges put together a band in Nashville that kicked down the doors for a new form of music now known as "alt. country/No Depression/Americana."
Soon after, Jason & The Scorchers became a Lincoln staple, tearing up the Drumstick regularly with their combination of the Rolling Stones and traditional country with a little punk rock thrown in for good measure.
After years apart, JATS is back with a smokin' new album. With the founding duo joined by a new rhythm section and "fifth Scorcher" Dan Baird of Georgia Satellites fame, the revived Scorchers roar out of the gate with "Moonshine Guy" ("Likes The Stones, hates the Doors/Thinks The Beatles sing for girls") and deliver cut after cut of what they once called "reckless country soul."
There are songs about the music business, miner's tales, depictions of local characters and tunes about the determination of Ringenberg and Hodges to keep making music.
"Halcyon Days" connects from start to finish, combining Ringenberg's evocative lyrical styling with smoking, slashing guitar, some twang and an in-the-pocket rhythm section. That's called rock 'n' roll, boys and girls, and, recently, nobody's done it better.