What do you get when you place Americana music legend Jason Ringenberg (who Mojo described as “The Godfather of Americana”) in a grove of Giant Sequoias? You end up with his new record ‘Stand Tall’, the (very) long-awaited follow up to 2004’s ‘Empire Builders’ and his first collection of new songs, outside of his Farmer Jason project, since The Scorchers’ ‘Halcyon Times’ in 2010.
The new album was conceived and penned in June 2017 while Ringenberg was commissioned as the artist in residence at Sequoia National Park in northern California. The National Park Service put him up in a remote mountain cabin for a month to write songs and perform concerts there. “I found that spending so much time alone in that primal wilderness did wonders for my songwriting,” said Ringenberg.
The result is a record filled with characters on a mission; from John the Baptist (‘John the Baptist was a Real Humdinger’) to John Muir (‘John Muir Stood Here’) to a disillusioned Confederate conscript (‘I’m Walking Home’). There is even a song about Jason’s experiences opening for the Ramones through Texas in 1982 called ‘God Bless the Ramones’. It speaks volumes that Jason would write a song about the Ramones while standing in the shadow of the Charles Young sequoia, named after the first African-American national park head ranger and US Army Colonel.
To record the album, Ringenberg returned to his old haunts in the backwoods of Southern Illinois. He and the core rhythm section from his first rock band, Shakespeare’s Riot, hunkered down in a studio with a tin roof and a rural soul. That down-home environment gave Ringenberg the freedom to dig deep into his musical heritage. Fleshing out the sound, Ringenberg enlisted the help of Nashville’s Americana musicians including Richard Bennett(producer of Steve Earle’s ‘Guitar Town’), Fats Kaplin (Jack White, John Prine),Steve Fishell (Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band), and Robert Bowlin (fiddle player for Bill Monroe.)
Jason will also be playing some dates around the UK which you can find below. Look out for a review on AUK soon.
Jason Ringenberg: March 2019 UK Tour
Thu 21 March – Leicester, The Donkey
Sat 23 March – High Wycombe, Kingsmead House Concert
Sun 24 March – Birmingham, Kitchen Garden Café
Tue 26 March – Sheffield, The Greystones
Wed 27 March – London, What’s Cookin’ @ Leytonstone Ex-Servicemens Club
Thu 28 March – Glasgow, The CCA, Club Room
Fri 29 March – Newcastle-upon-Tyne, The Cluny 2