Thursday, February 11, 2021
– Jason Ringenberg announced he will be out with his sixth solo disc, "Rhinestoned," on March 5 on his Courageous Chicken label.
Ringenberg, who led Jason & The Scorchers, said the release was an "unexpected blessing" because he initially wanted to take some off from music. Producer George Bradfute the disc in the summer of 2020 to record.
"I was faced with the same decisions everyone else in the world faced: how to connect with folks in a disconnected world. I decided to create a new record. 'Rhinestoned' was birthed in masks and social distancing."
"The songs came out rather heavy; I reckon that was to be expected," Ringenberg said. He wanted to choose from the American country songbook from different eras, from early the Carter Family days to a Hank Williams, Sr classic to an old hit from rockers The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. His choice of the Methodist Church hymn, "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today," reveals his Christian beliefs' unwavering stance with family backing vocals.
"The Freedom Rides Weren't Free" talks about the sacrifices made by the young Black and white Civil Rights supporters in the 1960s. The song was written right before the major racial unrest during the summer of 2020.
He also tells the unknown story of an old Lakota/Oglala legend that one of Crazy Horse's cousins rode and fought beside him through every battle to his death at Fort Robinson in Nebraska. The song "I Rode With Crazy Horse" is a loosely told tale. "I heard the song in a dream, woke up, and hummed the melody into my phone recorder," Ringenberg said.
Ringenberg took a hard look at Nashville and how it has grown both physically and personally in the song "Nashville Without Rhinestones." Once rhinestone adorned country music stars are now fading out to pasture to be replaced with the trendy hipsters and their crafted beers.
The radio single "Keep Your Promise" is a heartbreak song filled with twang and driving drums.
As Ringenberg and Bradfute started the recording process, they realized it would be a lonesome process as they followed the COVID-19 gathering protocols. Fellow musicians came in to lay down their tracks one at a time; Steve Ebe on drums, Fats Kaplin on steel guitar and fiddle, then rounding it out with Ringenberg on guitars and Bradfute on everything else. "Most of the time, it was just me and George hammering away in that storied basement," Ringenberg said. The basement studio once belonged to the great Jim Reeves, a noted Nashville star from the 1950s.
The Illinois native released eight studio albums as Jason & The Scorchers, forging a cow punk sound.