If Jason and The Scorchers were not the originators of alternate
country rock, or cowpunk as some call it, I do not know who was. They
were the only group of this genre I ever bothered to check out. When
they suddenly broke onto the scene in the eighties, their hard rock
guitar sound coupled with Jason Ringenberg's vocals really caught
my ear. I did not realize it until now why. They fondly reminded
me of Creedence Clearwater Revival in some ways, whose music I have always loved.
"Still Standing" remains a benchmark album for all others that have
come after them to imitate. They had a legendary and rabid following,
though small, and not the customary fortune and fame that usually
comes with those pleasures. This type of music has always had an enthusiastic
audience, and that is putting it mildly, but never the kind to push
the genre over the top to the next level.
This remastered CD with bonus tracks highlights their powerful sound
with all the snappy and biting guitar riffs of Warren Hodges, the
explosive rhythm section of Jeff Johnson (bass) and Perry Braggs (drums),
and the expressive vocals of Ringenberg. I have noticed on remastered
albums that the bass comes more to the front end of the sound giving
the music an overall depth and strength that was not there previously,
and this remaster is a good example of that.
The CD opens with a scorching track called "Golden Ball and Chain"
and the acoustic hook laden calling out of "Ocean of Doubt" shows
how the group could reach down and pull out all of their roots from
Nashville with melodious acoustic guitar, fiddle, and wanting vocals.
I always appreciated their raucous version of the Rolling Stones
fantastic "19th Nervous Breakdown," it really smoked. It is why I
always remembered this album, after all, who could forget a Stones
song? In decade with only a few bright spots, Jason and The Scorchers
stand out as one of the stars that burned the brightest.
1. Golden Ball and Chain
2. Crashin' Down
3. Shotgun Blues
4. Good Things Come To Those Who Wait
5. My Heart Still Stands With You
6. 19th Nervous Breakdown
7. Ocean of Doubt
8. Ghost Town
9. Take Me To Your Promised Land Bonus Tracks:
10. Greetings From Nashville
11. Route 66
12. The Last Ride
Perry Baggs-Drums, vocals
Jason Ringenberg-Vocals, harmonica