Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Plenty of vigor and enthusiasm
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 05/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Playing Time - 64:30 -- Jason Ring's debut certainly rings true as a personification of his character and musicianship. As the only musician on this generous hour-long project, Ring provides vocals, guitar, resonator guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and mouth flugel. His eclectic, mostly original set creates many moods by drawing inspiration from a multi-genre concoction of bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz and ragtime. The solo album has considerable individualism and moments of impressive musicianship and emotionally-charged vocalizing from the Galax, Va. native who was a third place multi-instrumental winner (guitar, banjo, Dobro) at the 2006 Virginia Bluegrass Music Championships. Ring's stripped down approach is also a showcase that makes for a very accessible presentation.
Ring's prowess on guitar is best displayed on his finger-picked original called "Onus" and his jazzy cover of "Comin' Home Baby." A six-minute banjo composition, "Banjology" comes from a live recording in which he's heard joking with the audience that he might have called the piece "Because I Can." Another original, "Float" creates a kaleidoscope of leisurely sound as the nimble-fingered Ring produces an interpretive resonance with the Dobro. "The Argument" is a multi-tracked sonic conversation between Jason's various instruments. Jason's unpretentious, bluesy vocals appear in a number of covers from the likes of Blind Willie McTell, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Ben Tucker/Bob Dorough, and traditional sources. Unfortunately, his own "Welcome to Nashville" is a bit lackluster as it decries the town's approach to "processed country music" before ending with an instrumental reprise of "Wildwood Flower." While some additional vocal harmony (and perhaps guest fiddling) would have taken "Patchwork" to an even higher overall level, there's still plenty of vigor and enthusiasm on an album that always keeps Jason Ring as the well-deserved center of attention. (Joe Ross)"