I regret that it's taken me so long to get around to this, especially considering that this is one of my favorite bands ever. A loud, wild mix of country, punk, gospel, and roots music, the band formed by Jason Ringenberg (vocals & guitar), Warner E. Hodges (guitar), Perry Baggs (drums) and Jeff Johnson (bass) didn't fit well into either the Nashville country music scene or the rock scene; they were too punk for the country radio stations and too country for the rock stations, and in those days before the internet, a lack of radio play meant slow death.
Unfazed by this, the Scorchers released their first EP, Reckless Country Soul in 1982 and were signed by EMI the following year, promptly releasing another EP, Fervor, which contained a slammin' cover of Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie". Their live shows, then as now, were high-energy affairs that delighted audiences. This drew attention from the critics, who praised the band's EPs as well as their albums Lost And Found and Still Standing. Unfortunately, critical acclaim didn't make up for the lack of radio play, and in 1987 EMI cut the band loose; it was at this time that Jeff Johnson left the band to be replaced by Ken Fox.
Three years passed, and the Scorchers tried again with a more rock-oriented album, Thunder And Fire. Reviews were negative, sales were poor, and the band fell apart. A couple of years later, EMI issued a compilation CD, Are You Ready For The Country which
included Fervor, Lost And Found, and four rarities. This CD would eventually be the spark that led to the band's reunion; by the 1990s the music landscape had changed, with alt-country carving out a niche for itself. Jeff Johnson picked up a copy of Are You Ready For The Country and was inspired to get the band back together, which (after considerable nagging and early-morning phone calls to Ringenberg and a very unwilling Warner Hodges) came to fruition in a tour that stretched from 1993 into 1994 and excluded the songs from Thunder And Fire.
Jason Ringenberg was able to get the band a contract with indie label Mammoth Records, and they cut two albums - A Blazing Grace and Clear Impetuous Morning - that took them back to their original sound. Jeff Johnson left the band amicably in 1997 after the release of the second album, and was replaced by Kenny Ames on 1998's double live CD, Midnight Roads And Stages Seen. Perversely, Disney, which had bought Mammoth Records in 1997, now folded the label, leaving the band without a home. Nonetheless, they went on to release another pair of CDs, the live Rock On Germany and Wildfires & Misfires - a compilation of outtakes and rare tracks - on Ringenberg's private label, Courageous Chicken Records.
Jason & The Scorchers continued touring through the 2000s, replacing the ailing Perry Baggs with "good ole Southern Swedish boy" Pontus Snibb and Kenny Ames with Al Collins, whose wife Stacie Collins toured with the band in 2011. Their most recent release is Halcyon Times, which is available at concerts, through the band's website, or through Amazon.com.
- Reckless Country Soul (EP), 1982 (Praxis)
- Fervor (EP), 1983 (Praxis)
- Fervor (expanded version EP), 1984 (EMI)
- Lost & Found, 1984 (EMI)
- Still Standing, 1986 (EMI)
- Thunder & Fire, 1989 (A&M)
- Are You Ready For The Country, 1992 (EMI)
- A Blazing Grace, 1995 (Mammoth)
- Reckless Country Soul (album), 1996 (Mammoth)
- Still Standing (w/add'l tracks), 1996 (Mammoth)
- Clear Impetuous Morning, 1996 (Mammoth)
- Both Sides Of The Line (best of collection), 1996 (EMI)
- Midnight Roads & Stages Seen (double live), 1998 (Mammoth)
- Rock On Germany (live), 2001 (Courageous Chicken)
- Wildfires & Misfires (outtakes & rarities), 2002 (Courageous Chicken)
- Fervor/Lost & Found (reissue), 2009 (Caroline)
- EMI Years (UK double CD), 2009 (Acadia)
- Halcyon Times, 2010 (101 Distribution)