They were punk. They were country. They were rock. Perhaps most of all, they were originals. Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, as they were originally called, were messiahs for a 1980’s American rock scene suffering from a slight inferiority complex and aching for pride and grit. Together, frontman Jason Ringenberg, guitarist Warner Hodges, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Perry Baggs, personified roots music experimentation, boasting an unparalleled respect for and familiarity with honky tonk, while wielding innate punk savvy. It wasn’t just how they said it: What they were saying also resonated. Ringenberg’s songwriting often drew heady thematic comparisons to Southern Gothic literary giants like Flannery O’Conner or William Faulkner, and Hodges’ influential guitar work roared in response as the punk-rock backbone of their euphoric sound’s dual-personality.
And to think... my friend Jason Ringenberg played in our little pavilion just last year. Cool that. Looks like we'll be heading to Nashville in September.