Jason & The Scorchers: Lost & Found (1985)

While some folks bristle at the "cowpunk" label, it seems apt here.  Jason Ringenberg and his (Nashville) Scorchers took Gram Parsons-styled Americana and 50s rockabilly and ran it through the post-punk blender, landing somewhere between the Paisley Underground jangle of the Long Ryders and a twangy version of early Replacements.  While they had plenty of great music, both in their original incarnation and during Ringenberg's subsequent solo years, 1985's Lost & Found is my favorite, rousing and fun throughout.

There are plenty of amped-up country-tinged tracks here perfect for a fast drive with the windows down, most notably opener "Both Sides of the Line," "Last Time Around," album stand-out "White Lies," and "Lost Highway."  But the band offsets the frenzy with a few twangier, mid-tempo tracks, like the almost straight-country "Blanket of Sorrow," the engaging country-pop of "Shop It Around," and a couple quieter acoustic tunes.

While later bands like Uncle Tupelo get plenty of well-deserved credit for their post-punk Americana updates, the Scorchers are criminally underrated, and their passionate alt.country revivalism deserves another look.

The CD (and Spotify) versions kick off with 1983's Fervor EP, which is also pretty damn great, particularly a blistering cover of Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and the endlessly entertaining "Help There's a Fire."

Here's the "White Lies" video:
And here's "Absolutely Sweet Marie":
 And here's a live "Both Sides Of The Line":

Comments

  1. Broken Whiskey Glass is a stone cold classic! I saw these guys open for Neil Young (IIRC) in Gainesville during my college days. I know for sure I saw them, not sure who they opened for.

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    Replies
    1. Would've loved to have seen 'em back in the day. The live videos on YouTube are amazing.

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