Jason Ringenberg is returning to Carbondale Saturday, and will be joined by local musicians featured on his new record at a concert at The Varsity.
Ringenberg's latest solo release, "Stand Tall," was recorded and co-produced by Mike Lescelius at Misunderstudios in Murphysboro and included local musicians Andrew Staff, Stace England, Robbie Stokes, Gary Gibula, Tom Miller, Adam Fletcher, Robert Bowlin, Beth Koehler, Kathy Livingston, Kyle Tripplett and Mike Kartje. Many of those musicians will be joining Ringenberg for the concert.
"This show will be more than just a Jason Ringenberg concert," the artist said. "It is celebrating the release of 'Stand Tall,' which was primarily recorded in southern Illinois. Tom and Gary were in my first bands at SIU back in the '70s, so this is really a southern Illinois project."
Ringenberg, a northern Illinois native, moved to Nashville in 1981 to pursue his dream of "making a band that could kick American Roots music into the modern age."
He formed Jason and The Scorchers and never looked back. In 2008, they were awarded the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance.
In 1999, the "Godfather of Americana," as Mojo magazine dubbed him, went solo. He has released five albums, with everyone from the BBC to USA Today lauding his songwriting. His high-octane, one-man show prompted The Times (UK) to call him "one of the most exciting performers of his generation." In 2002, he created a children's music character called Farmer Jason, winning numerous awards including an Emmy for his PBS video program, "It's a Farmer Jason."
"Stand Tall" 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 do concerts there.
"I found that spending so much time alone in that primal wilderness did wonders for my songwriting," Ringenberg said.
In addition to local musicians on the local recordings, Ringenberg enlisted the help of some of Nashville's finest Americana musicians, such as Richard Bennett (producer of Steve Earle's "Guitar Town"), Fats Kaplin (Jack White), Steve Fishell (Emmylou Harris's Hot Band) and Robert Bowlin (fiddle player for Bill Monroe.)
• The "Stand Tall" concert begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9. Tickets at the door are $15 and will be available beginning at 6 p.m.