Jason and the Scorchers – Absolutely Sweet Marie


A country/hard rock band formed by Illinois native Jason Ringenberg in 1981, Jason & the Scorchers came careening onto the indie rock scene seemingly out of nowhere (truth was, it was Nashville) with a debut EP whose most killer track (among a slew of killer tracks) was a fire-breathing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie.” This amalgam of speedy hard rock fused with Ringenberg’s decidedly country twang, along with the band’s ability to deftly negotiate between Rolling Stones-style stomps and quieter, more melodic acoustic country music, led to Jason & the Scorchers becoming a critically lauded and fairly popular ’80s band. Capitalizing quickly on the attention brought by their debut EP, the Scorchers kicked out two fine LPs, Lost & Found and Still Standing, that sounded perfect for radio, but not so slick as to sound manufactured. With Ringenberg’s yowling voice pushed way up front, the band’s sonic power came from the synchronous playing of Nashville rock veterans Warner Hodges (guitar), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Perry Baggs (drums).


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