Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reckless Country Souls

Among the many mysteries of the cosmos -- the Meaning of Life, the nature of God, or just what is the secret formula that makes Orange Julius so devilishly delicious? -- few are more irksome than this: Why the hell didn't Jason and the Scorchers ever become the biggest band on the fricking planet?

That 1983 Scorchers cover of Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" was pretty much my favorite single track in what I recall as a pretty good year for music, and to my ears it still sounds as fresh as paint lo these twenty-four years later. Seriously...Gram Parson's high lonesome sound crossed with a ferocious punk attack and guitar histrionics worthy of Pete Townshend and Keith Richards -- what, as they say, is not to like?

In any case, even though the band never achieved the world domination that was clearly their due, one thing is certain: alt-country begins here.


Anonymous said...

The same reason the Ramones never became the biggest band in the world --

People Are Dumb.

steve simels said...

Hmm...you may have a point there, Gummo.

Anonymous said...

They were really nice guys to boot. There is a great two disc live set recorded at the hight of their powers "Midnight Roads & Stages Seen." It's OOP but worth tracking down.

Also, Steve have to heard the late great V-Roys? They were pretty good in the same style, but a little more powerpop.

steve simels said...

KC --

I actually reviewed the V-Roys album for the old TV Guide music site back -- I recall loving it, although my copy seems to have gone south.

Produced (brilliantly, as I recall) by Steve Earle, right?

Anonymous said...

That's right Steve, Brilliantly produced by the "Twang-Trust."

Cleveland Bob said...

I've seen Jason and the Scorchers a couple of times and effin' rock.

The one time, they were warmed up by a band out of Athens, GA called Cigar Store Indians who were no slouches themselves. Jimmy Lavender was their guitar player.

As for alt-country, J and the S's are certainly at the top of the list.

Of course my version of that list has Pete Anderson on it as well. Dwight is cool, but he's be nowhere without his stompin' axe-man/producer dude.

shrimplate said...

It's as if The Cars grew up in Joja.

TMink said...

Wow. I knew the music but this is the first visuals I have ever seen.
Jason has a sneer worthy of Johnny Rotten.

What great attitude and drive.

I should have seen them live. They were a tad too country for me then I am ashamed to say.


TuneLovinJacket said...

I've seen Jason, Warner and the boys many times. I think it was 83ish when they opened for an Athens band named REM at the Agora Ballroom in ATL. I was leaning on the stage right in front of Warner Hodges/ Pete Buck's monitor. After Jason then REM completed their sets and encores, BOTH bands came on and did Buddy Holly's Rave On. Out of all the concerts I've been to, that was one of the best moments I've ever had. Thank you for bringing up a great memory. Maybe when I have more time, I'll tell you about the time Warner's parents came and played with the Scorchers at 688 in ATL

Anonymous said...

Love Scorchers and Athens,GA, bands, jealous about Agora ballroom, but: Simels, must be Gram Parsons', not Gram Parson's. His last name is Parsons. Gram Parsons' real name was Cecil Ingram Connor III, and he was a scion of the old Snively fortune. Also that his father was sobriqueted "Coon Dog." Coon Dog Snively. You cain make this stuff up, but why bother? xoxo klg

Kentucky woman