CHARLES POORE | Fairfield, PA United States | 08/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Until two weeks ago I never heard of this artist. I have XM Radio in my car, and they were playing "James Dean's Car", which may be the best cut on the album. The readout just showed Jason Ring... and the search was on. After some internet snooping I got the name and album correct and ordered it right away. James Dean's car is one of those tunes you can't get out of your head. Jason's not the best singer of all time, but then consider Rod Stewart. It's the total package, and Ringenberg and friends have put together a winner. For instance "Mother Earth' with Kristi Rose (new to me also) who has a sexy, sultry voice that raises goose bumps. For sure Jason's a first class musician, and so are the guys backing him up on every cut. My favorites so far? Honky Tonk Maniac, Bible and a Gun, Last Train to Memphis, and of course, James Dean's Car. My advice? Buy the album."
+1/2 -- Eclectic collection of folk, rock, country and more
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 02/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ringenberg's second solo album chronologically follows a pair of Jason & The Scorchers releases, but more properly a follow-up to his 2000 solo LP, "A Pocketful of Soul." The tour for this latter album introduced Ringenberg to the numerous collaborators who appear on this "duets" collection. The diverse array of guests provide additional fuel for Rigenberg's eclectic and far-reaching tastes. The songs -- mostly originals -- range from acoustic country-folk to bluegrass to rockabilly and hard-driving rock. Ringenberg and his guests sound at home across the entire array, and the result is a surprising unity between the styles.Highlights include an acoustic-backed close-harmony duet with Kristi Rose, reprising George Jones' and Melba Montgomery's "I Dreamed My Baby Came Home" (from their rather obscure 1964 "Bluegrass Hootenanny" album). A moving rewrite of Steve Earle's "Bible and a Gun" re-imagines the story in Civil War times, with Earle providing a truly outstanding reading of the second verse. The American Civil War also provides the setting (and Nashville's Lambchop the tender backing) for "Erin's Seed," a tale of Irish immigrants whose dispersal to the South and North results in their clans ironic demise ("Our civil war did finish what their famine had begun.").Todd Snider (of "Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues" fame) co-wrote and sings on the pop-rock "James Dean's Car," a song that would sound at home in the hands of Ben Vaughn. Nashville's Swan Dive provides the electric twang and backing vocal behind Ringenberg's ballad for his daughter, "Camille." Tommy Womack brings a power-pop sound to "Too High To See," and Britain's Wild Hearts provide crunchy rock guitars for the love lost sing-a-long, "One Less Heartache."Kristi Rose makes a second appearance for a haunting cover of Gun Club's "Mother of Earth," and BR549 provide backup for a surprisingly lackluster cover of Loretta Lynn's "Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)." The album closes with the original "The Last Train to Memphis," pairing the guitars of George Bradfute with the fiddle of Fats Kaplin for a wonderfully downbeat talking blues.This is a wonderfully diverse album from a mature talent who's able to fuse the broad roots of his musical upbringing into a compelling new whole."
Jason continues to lead the way.
bob ashmore | Jupiter, Florida United States | 06/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not much to say about this album. Just listen to it! It's a treasure trove of great music and great musicians all held together by Jason."