In the early 1980s, two young singer/songwriters moved to Nashville. Jason Ringenberg hadn’t ever stepped foot in Tennessee when he left his family’s Illinois hog farm with dreams of playing music. Webb Wilder had hopped around the South by the time he moved to Nashville the following year. Both would become an integral part of the city’s rockabilly scene for decades. Last week, the two charismatic frontmen—each with a new album out—sat down at The Five Spot with Peter Cooper of the Country Music Hall of Fame for a discussion of their time in Music City. The video is available exclusively via Paste below.
Ringenberg put together his band, Jason & the Scorchers, shortly after unpacking his belongings in 1981. Blending a rural American stew of genres into a new sound, dubbed cow-punk, the band went on to release eight albums that helped shape the future of Americana. His sixth solo album, Rhinestoned, trades the carefree energy of his youth for more meaningful subjects, like the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights movement or an old Lakota legend about a cousin of Crazy Horse, or even a repurposed hymn celebrating his own faith through the years.
Wilder rose to fame in a series of cult movies featuring his character of the same name, beginning with It Came From Nashville—his album of the same name was named one of the 50 Best Southern Rock Albums of All Time by this publication. Later, he became one of the original DJs on Sirius’ X Country channel. Now, his eleventh album, Night Without Love, showcases both his old-school rock ’n’ roll chops and his enduring love for outlaw country.
Watch the conversation:
Filmed March 25, 2021 at The 5 Spot in East Nashville, Tenn.
Directed by Jill Kettles/Miss Jill PR
An Acoustic Chaos Production
Produced by Jill Kettles/Miss Jill PR and Pati DeVries/Devious Planet
Filmed by Todd Sherwood and Ryon Westover of The 5 Spot