The former (and possibly ongoing since their 2010 reunion) frontman with Jason & the Scorchers, as you’ll likely know, Ringenberg’s staple musical diet is rebel rock country with gunslinger guitars, yeehaw vocals and basic good time tunes interleaved with more melancholic balladry. Digging back into his Scorchers past, you’ll find a wealth of such great tunes as Broken Whiskey Glass, Blanket Of Sorrow, Harvest Moon, Hot Nights In Georgia and Golden Ball and Chain as well as their tear it up covers of Lost Highway and Absolutely Sweet Marie.
Four solo albums have also provided their fair share of favourites, among them The Last Of The Neon Cowboys, his cover of Steve Earle’s Bible & A Gun, Chief Joseph’s Last Dream and Trail Of Tears, the latter two both songs about the American-Indian experience.
Rather stretching the definition, he’s appearing here as part of the Birmingham Jazz Festival playing a couple of free solo shows, though just because he’s one man and a guitar don’t think he won’t have the place jumping.
Ironically, however, it’s his alter ego as dungarees-wearing hayseed Farmer Jason that’s brought him more success than his band or solo endeavours, releasing albums and winning an Emmy for his It’s Farmer Jason public broadcast TV series, all devoted to teaching children (pre-school and primary) about farming, animals and respecting nature and the land.
This may all sound a bit Tweenies, but Ringenberg doesn’t dumb down the music, using bluegrass, Western sing, and Texas country rock n roll to educate the kids. He’s just released his third album, Nature Jams, which is pretty much about what you’d imagine with titles like Buffalo Or Bison, The Moose Lives Where?, Meadowlark In Central Park and Manatee. What you might not expect, however, is to find him joined bythe likes of REM’s Mike Mills, the Saw Doctors, Suzy Bogguss, Brandi Carlile or, making a very rare recording appearance in Prairie Riddles, Iris De Ment.
The subject of some of the songs might not mean a great deal to Birmingham’s inner city sprogs, but his free music workshops should be great fun.
7pm. Free. The Lord Clifden, Great Hampton Street Hockley + Wed 11. 8pm. Free. The Walkabout, Broad St. Farmer Jason Wed 11. 12.30pm. Free. Mailbox