Tuesday, September 29, 2009

VINYL DESTINATION 8: Reckless Country Soul

In 1981, Jason Ringenberg decided to leave his career pig farming in Southern Illinois and head to Nashville to begin a music career.

Thank God.

He met up with three other cats that along with him would comprise the Nashville Scorchers. Warner Hodges, who plays guitar like the thing's trying to get away from him, Perry Baggs, the guy who won an audition playing drums with pieces of tree, and Jeff Johnson, a heavy-bag puncher of a bass player.

Good stuff on the first recording, essentially taped in the engineer's house, a studio area comprised of the living room and a section of hallway.

"Cowpunk", it was called. The name fits.

The 4 song ep begins with "Shot Down Again", a song that starts like a country ballad before ending like surf-punk, continues with "Broken Whiskey Glass", a fantastic song that made it reworked (and weaker) onto their major label debut, and also features a cover of "Jimmie Rodger's Last Blue Yodel" and a rollicking version of Hank Williams' "I'm so Lonesome I could cry"

This is really good country/punk/rockabilly created by a band that in the liner notes of their "greatest hits", it's stated was "too rock for country and too country for rock" pertaining to radio airplay.

Shame, really. I didn't discover it until 7 years ago, and I wish I had earlier. A CD version was released on Mammoth a few years back containing some Sun Studios material recorded around the same time including a ripping "Hello Walls" among others.

Reckless, indeed.

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