Rhinestoned is Jason Ringenberg riding a rollercoaster record. The first half of Rhinestoned is climbing up the first hill, the coaster coasting at a medium pace where you can enjoy ascending as you dig on the scenery. When the coaster hits the top, about five songs in, you spend the rest of the album zipping around corners at a pace once set by Ringenberg’s former band, Jason & The Scorchers. Musically, Jason Ringenberg goes to spaghetti-western twang for album opener “Before Love and War”, while he nods to Civil Rights heroes in “The Freedom Rides Weren’t Free” and hints at Celtic Folk with “The Storms are on the Ocean”.
Jason Ringenberg encourages you to ‘throw your records in the sea and listen to them sink’ on “Nashville Without Rhinestones”, the story a statement about the gentrification of Music City and matches longtime residents griping with good reason about the dismantling of the music scene in their home city. “Christ The Lord is Risen Today” is a Gospel cut with a dash of respectful irreverence. What follows is high gear Country Rock. “I Rode with Crazy Horse” is a twangy, train-rhythmed banger while “Time Warp” invites a drunken singalong and shuffle around a dance floor. Album closer, “Window Town”, is a jolt of jangle, a cut living somewhere between 70’s Country Rock and the Indie musical mash of the Paisley Underground. Jason Ringenberg kicks all around the Roots world, from edgy Folk with a historical bent to the best of dancefloor cutting Cow Punk.
by Bryant Liggett