One of the greatest live bands of all time have put out a brand new record, with fourteen brand-cranking new songs!!! It's their first new material in fourteen years, but as noted on their website, "This is no 'return to their roots.' It is instead a creative leap forward, showing the band at its peak..." As a life-long JATS devotee, I can attest to that! In fact, I might even go so far as to say Halcyon Times is their finest recording EVER!!! But don't just take my word for it... USA TODAY gave it their "pick of the week" yesterday on page 5D (http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/reviews/2010-03-01-playlist02_N.htm).
You can read a bio on the band and how they came to accomplish the rare feat of making one of their best records almost 30 years into their career here: http://www.jasonandthescorchers.com/press_kit/bio.pdf. Though they look a little different - with the addition of Al Collins on bass and Pontus Snibb on drums - there is no mistaking this is still vintage Jason and Warner. The album also features contributions from Dan Baird, Ginger Wildheart, Tommy Womack, former drummer Perry Baggs, and was co-produced by Brad Jones. That's an olympic dream team if ever there was one.
My hat's off to these legends. Long may they run...
On a personal note:
- I recommend ordering the cd off the JATS website, rather than Amazon or in-store. It will cost you less, and you can also get it autographed by Jason and Warner.
- I received my cd last Friday. It's not every day you walk to the mailbox, pull out a package wondering what it is, and the return address is from none other than guitar-god himself, Warner E. Hodges!
- For those who don't know, Jason is a life-long friend of mine. We are from the same area. I used to work with (and was best friends with) his brother - the same brother who sang and played guitar at my wedding. You won't find a nicer person than Jason, or his mom and dad.
- Jason has played our pavilion - as both Jason and Farmer Jason.
- While Al Collins may not be an original member, I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him, and I really liked him (as much as you can like someone you've briefly met). And he's married to one of the rockin-est women on earth too!
- I don't think this album could have come at a better time, as Warner's father just passed away a few weeks ago. My prayers and condolences to he and the family.
- This cd comes complete with striking cover art, a full color booklet, proper band photography, behind the scene photos, and lyrics. I subscribe to an email list with other JATS fanatics, and the album designer (Paul Needham) relayed how Jason insisted that they go first-class with this project. Very nicely done.
- This cd was recorded live, with a real, live audience in the studio (people from the email list).
- Halcyon means: "tranquil and free from disturbance or care."
I will close with the last line from the liner notes, on the making of Halcyon Times (from Jason): "This is definitely NOT an 'alt-country' record, and I let everyone know I wanted no part of that. After 10 solo years singing songs about dead Confederates and Nez Perce ghosts, I wanted to RAWK by God! I wanted mojo, not history. I wanted to sweat and yell. I wanted to see the studio walls melt and they did, praise all the saints."
Amen to that. Peace out; and in.