Standing on the edge of greatness … Jason and the Scorchers, 1984. Photograph: Paul Natkin/WireImage
There are only ever a handful of names that get mentioned when the idea of “the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world” is raised. Actually, there have been dozens of greatest rock’n’roll bands in the world, but most of them never get recognised – because they were only ever the greatest band for a week, or a month, a summer. They were the greatest band at some point where everything aligned for them – they had a great record out, their shows were on fire, the crowds were going wild. Everything they touched, they torched. A very few – through their own cunning, the machinations of their label and management, the support of radio – are able to seize that moment, to capture that momentum, and move on to greater things, to platinum records and stadium shows. Most, though, for whatever reason, will have only the brief moment of transcendence, before they slip back into the ranks. The shows will get smaller again, the records less inspired, the fire will burn less fiercely.
In summer 1985, Jason and the Scorchers were the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world. On 4 July that year, I saw them headlining an Independence Day bill at the Electric Ballroom in London, above the Blasters and the Textones. I was in the front row, and even the distance of 31 years has done nothing to dull the memory of how combustible they were. Singer Jason Ringenberg whirled around the stage in a frock coat and cowboy hat, his legs jerking behind him as if he were getting electric shocks from the mic stand; guitarist Warner Hodges wheeled in circles, without ever missing a power chord; bassist Jeff Johnson, in pressed shirt andbolo tie, looked like a Victorian riverboat gambler by way of the New York Dolls. The mini Confederate flag flying from drummer Perry Baggs’s spare rack top slot didn’t raise the #problematic signals it might now.Read More>>>
JASON and the SCORCHERS
are excited to announce Live Performance Taping
Bluegrass Underground Sets Season VI
(held 333 feet below the Cumberland Plateau in the world-famous Volcano Room, the jewel in the crown of Cumberland Caverns. How cool!)
Bluegrass Underground Sets Season VI
Nine-time Emmy-winning music show films new series April 1-3.
Tickets Pre-sale Friday, January 29, 2016 (5:00 pm CST)
All remaining tickets go on sale at 10am CST Saturday, January 30, 2016
TICKETS GO FAST - USUALLY witin minutes of going on sale
(Bonus - Warner playing with Drivin' N Cryin')
Award-winning Americana TV series Bluegrass Underground will head back to Cumberland Caverns April 1-3 to shoot its sixth season for PBS. Dubbed “Austin City Limits-meets-Nova,” the roots-music showcase has featured many of the premier artists in bluegrass, country, blues, folk and roots-rock, including The Civil Wars, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, Vince Gill and the Timejumpers, Leon Russell, Hot Rize, Amos Lee, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Lucinda Williams and Railroad Earth.
Shot amid the unparalleled beauty of Cumberland Caverns’ Volcano Room, Bluegrass Underground Season VI will feature another eclectic mix of certified icons, legends-in-the-making and Americana stars of tomorrow. Artists include the GRAMMY-winning bluegrass band The Cox Family, GRAMMY-nominated contemporary bluegrass masters Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, iconic singer/songwriter/musician Mac McAnally, cowpunk pioneers Jason & The Scorchers, beloved Southern rock band Drivin‘ N Cryin’, Americana kingpins The Dave Rawlings Machine, as well as groundbreaking newer artists like mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull, R&B dynamos St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Brooklyn’s majestic Lone Bellow, New Orleans rabble-rousers Hurray For the Riff Raff, dancefloor-filling jam band JJ Grey & Mofro and the rootsy soul of The Suffers.
It all adds up to the world’s biggest and best subterranean music festival, “The Greatest Show Under Earth”, held 333 feet below the Cumberland Plateau in the world-famous Volcano Room, the jewel in the crown of Cumberland Caverns, an internationally-known tourist destination located in McMinnville, Tenn.
The new series will start airing this fall, but music lovers can be part of it all right now. Package tickets for all three days go on sale on Friday, Jan.29. In addition, Bluegrass Underground is offering Bucket List ticket packages including food and lodging, and a very limited number of special VIP Experience packages, with lodging in luxury Tennessee cabins, including reserved seating and food plus private concerts and meet-and-greets with the artists.
Tickets sell out in minutes, so plan ahead and buy early to be a part of this years taping. All remaining tickets go on sale at 10am CST Saturday, January 30, 2016.
The three-day lineup:
Friday, April 1, 7 p.m. - From a Whisper to a Scream
Sierra Hull - The mandolin prodigy from Byrdstown, Tenn., is all grown up and comes to us fresh from releasing her jaw-dropping , Bela Fleck-produced solo album, Weighted Mind.
The Cox Family - One of the finest vocal trios in bluegrass and traditional country, Suzanne, Evelyn and Sidney Cox have returned to the national music scene and released their first album in almost 20 years, the critically-acclaimed Gone Like the Cotton.
Jason & The Scorchers - This year, Jason Ringenberg and his bandmates will celebrate 35 years of smashing down the walls between country and rock, but they sound like they’re just getting started.
Drivin’ N Cryin’ - Frontman Kevin Kinney says DNC “sounds like your record collection” and, with a show that goes from intimate acoustic folk to sprawling arena rock, it’s one really, really, really good record collection.
Saturday, April 2, 1 p.m. - Bluegrass, Americana and Folk Roots
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen - Solivan is a master chef and mandolinist whose band is at the cutting edge of contemporary bluegrass and has the IBMA awards and a GRAMMY nomination to prove it.
Mac McAnally - He’s an eight-time CMA Musician of the Year, and whether he’s singing his great songs, playing guitar or just spinning tales, this Mississippi native is as good as it gets.
Hurray For the Riff Raff - Alynda Segarra and her band promise to turn the Volcano Room into the French Quarter with a high-energy stage show propelled by funky, folky N’Awlins grooves.
The Dave Rawlings Machine - Rawlings and longtime partner Gillian Welch personify Americana. Their band’s Bluegrass Underground debut will be one to remember.
Sunday, April 3, 1 p.m. - Pan-American Dance Party
The Lone Bellow - Part of the thriving Americana scene in Brooklyn, The Lone Bellow entranced the sell-out crowd at the 2015 Americana Awards last fall. Their Volcano Room appearance promises to be absolutely magical.
The Suffers - Featuring big-voiced singer Kam Franklin, this 10-piece Texas band just released their self-titled debut, but it’s their take-no-prisoners live show and hiply retro soul sound that has earned them spots on David Letterman’s Late Show, The Newport Folk Festival and the Austin City Limits Festival.
JJ Grey & Mofro - The pride of Jacksonville, Fla., JJ Grey is a longtime leader of the jamband movement, fronting the downhome rock band with his warm, soulful rasp.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Paul Janeway and his dynamic seven-piece band will turn the Volcano Room into a soul-funk revival meeting. Based in Birmingham, Ala., St. Paul & The Broken Bones are one of today’s best live acts. Don’t miss this one.
Feb. 19, Bluegrass Underground will be featured in a one-hour, prime-time national PBS special, presenting the best of the first five seasons of the Emmy-winning show. Check local listings for exact times.
Bluegrass Underground began in August, 2008, when Nashville-based producer Todd Mayo held his first event at Cumberland Caverns’ Volcano Room, presenting the original SteelDrivers, featuring Chris Stapleton on lead vocals. In 2011, after producing dozens of concerts there, Mayo partnered with filmmaker Todd Jarrell, forming Todd Squared to produce Bluegrass Underground as a weekly half-hour show for PBS. WCTE, based in Cookeville, Tenn., became the presenting PBS station. Since then, Bluegrass Underground has won a total of nine Emmy Awards and is nominated for five more at the 2016 Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards, ceremonies to be held Feb. 27 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Pro-Art Association’s Performing Arts Center on April 19 at 3:00 p.m.
Jason and the Scorchers stormed out of Nashville in 1981 and never looked back. With their explosive mix of classic rock ‘n’roll and American roots music they “…singlehandedly rewrote the history of rock ‘n’ roll in the South.” –Rolling Stone Although at heart a pure American rock band, there is an exhibit of them in the Country Music Hall of Fame . In 2008 they won the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. Their newest release Halcyon Times has been called one the finest records in their history.
Guitar star Warner E. Hodges and frenetic frontman Jason Ringenberg forge the nucleus of the current lineup as always, but new bassist Al Collins and drummer Pontus Snibb inject a fresh energy into the volatile chemistry. By all accounts, Jason and the Scorchers in the new millennium is as strong and as exciting as any band they have ever fielded in their storied career. As The New Yorker magazine recently said “…now they are one of the best bands, again.”