My 2018 got off to a fabulous start with Jason & The Scorchers recent residency on the Sirius XM Radio Outlaw Country Cruise, which was a “deep” success.
I was a very busy pirate doing three full shows with The Scorchers, a radio interview with Mojo Nixon, guest spots with Chuck Mead, Rosie Flores, and The Bottlerockets, a special appearance on the Tom Petty Tribute Concert where I sang “I Need To Know”, and a trip to some Mayan ruins! My voice was worked so hard I couldn’t speak a word when it was finished!
Above – Jason with Rosie Flores and Steve Earle
A high point of The Scorchers shows was Marty from The Supersuckers singing and playing the guitar on Bible and a Gun. Everyone in the crowd joined in on that one. I also got to hang out with a lot of old friends like Steve Earle who I hadn’t spent any time with in years.
It was a wonderful week, full of maritime musical adventures. I was honored to receive a standing ovation at the Tom Petty Tribute Concert. That was a high point in my music life, although the whole week was magic.
A few quick things: first our website store was down for a while but it is now up and running and ready for the Christmas rush!! Thank you to my designer and website manager Paul Needham for ploughing through all the issues to get us producing crops of merch again!!.
Also a big thanks to my American technology guru Diane Davis for getting my new phone and laptop running. it is amazing how much I can screw up technology!! Diane and Paul are always there to bail me out and keep me operating in this crazy new world. Without their help and expertise, I would be permanently lost in the internet jungle. (hmm that might be a good Farmer Jason record: “A Day Lost in the Internet Jungle with Farmer Jason”)
And of course, thank you to all of you folks who supported my music in 2017. It was a wonderful year. Doing the Sequoia National Park Residency with my family was undoubtedly a high point in my career. I will never forget walking around those giant angels and writing songs on the spot. And to see the wonder in my daughters’ eyes as they experienced real wilderness was simply sublime.
2018 looks to be interesting as well, starting with Jason and the Scorchers performing on the Sirius Radio Outlaw Country Cruise in January. Funny that for the Cruise we have a truckload of volunteers wanting to roadie for us!! In March I will be doing a UK Jason Ringenberg tour, Stay posted for the dates listing in January.
A Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Wondrous New Year to you and yours,
Jason & The Scorchers will be one of the featured artists this January 22-26 on the 2018 Sirius Radio Outlaw Country Cruise. Tool around the Caribbean and hear your favorite bands several times! As well as JATS the line-up includes Blackberry Smoke, Steve Earle, The Mavericks, Lucinda Williams, The Supersuckers, Kinky Friedman, Webb Wilder, Junior Brown, Rodney Crowell, Ray Wyle Hubbard with more acts still to be announced.
Last week I finished the 3 week Artist in Residence program at the Sequoia National Park. It was a magnificent experience. The concerts were at their outdoor amphitheater near the Sequoias and their Mineral King Ranger Station campfire set up in the Sierra wilderness. You can imagine how inspiring that was! Wow, I enjoyed every second of it. My songwriting was also recharged in a big way. The ideas poured into and out of me.
Suzy, Addie, and Camille joined me the last week of the Residency. We stayed in mountain cabins. Although we had no electricity, phone, or internet we didn’t miss all that a bit. It is no hard to forget modern conveniences when right outside your door is the High Sierra Wilderness! Most of the time, given everyone’s busy schedules, I travel alone. It was so wonderful to have them with me for this once in a lifetime experience.
As happens to most folks, I was deeply changed by experiencing the Giant Sequoias. Although they don’t have brains like us humans, they possess an undeniable presence and strength. A feeling of peace and tranquility pervades everything around them. To give you an idea of their size, all four of us together joining hands could not reach across the base of the President Sequoia. Even in the busier touristy sections of the Park, the atmosphere was reverential and respectful.
Above – Dig how big the diameter of this Sequoia called The President. All four of us can’t reach across it!
Above – Notice the bear track following the human track. That actually is me!!!! Obviously the bear followed me up the mountain and I noticed the tracks when coming back down! It is an interesting feeling to NOT be the top of the food chain.
Above – Words can’t really describe just how big and wondrous the Sequoias are.
In closing, I often thought of John Muir, how he must have felt when he first saw those giant beings, and how he and many others fought to save them from the axes of civilization. No greater crime against nature and God could have been committed than cutting down those Giant Sequoia groves. They are priceless, beyond human measure.
Last week I had the wonderful experience of performing at the Monroe County (Michigan) Big Gig. Every year a friend of mine (and Jason and the Scorchers fan) Bill Reiser does a series of Blues based concerts celebrating Black History Month in libraries all over Monroe County culminating in the Big Gig at the Meyer Theater in Monroe. This year it was their 30th year and Bill invited me to be a part of this once in a lifetime event!! I got to sing Jimmie Rodgers Last Blue Yodel, Hank Williams Honky Tonk Blues, and Its All Over Now by Bobby Womack. On stage with me were some of the of finest blues performers in the world today. What an honor it was. I think my favorite part of it was listening to those cats jam in the dressing room. I have to say that when rock musicians get together they talk about equipment. When blues musicians get together they PLAY music. What an experience.
The Bluegrass Underground TV concert featuring Jason and the Scorchers will air in late December on most PBS stations across the United States. In Nashville it air’s on December 31 at 10.30 on Nashville Public Television. Each PBS station will have its own specific air date and time please so check with your local station for your time.
The Bluegrass Underground concerts are filmed in a real cave with a live audience in Cumberland Caverns, McMinnville Tennessee.
The winners of the Tennessee Fire Marshalls Office video contest have been announced. This was a contest where anyone or organization could submit a video about fire alarms using songs from Tennessee musicians. The Farmer Jason song “Get on Out” was used by several entries, including the First and Second Place winners!!
“Years before the term “alt-country” was conceived, something a little uglier and grimier was festering in Nashville. Jason & The Scorchers—led by explosive frontman Jason Ringenberg—released a couple of EPs before dropping their best record Lost & Found in 1985. It’s a punk rock album at heart, but guitarist Warner Hodges has plenty of twangy licks up his sleeve. Songs like “Lost Highway” and “I Really Don’t Want To Know” showed off Ringenberg’s wry sense of humor, while also confounding audiences for being too country for some and too punk rock for others. The band never found any major success early on, however, three decades later Lost & Found proves that Jason & The Scorchers were light years ahead of their time.” —Mark Lore