“Celebrating a return to our arboreal roots, it is hard not to shed a tear at the doleful Ode To A Toad, and songs such as Moose On The Loose and Punk Rock Skunk will have toddlers burning down Parliament…Read more
PRESS KIT & RESOURCES
“Rousing songs about forest critters, by a former rock singer, encourage tykes to exercise their muscles and educate their minds. ”
INSPIRING CHILDREN TO APPRECIATE NATURE and Farm Life THROUGH SONG
When internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Jason Ringenberg created his family music character Farmer Jason, he had no idea he was launching what would prove to be the most commercially successful creation of his storied career. With Jason and the Scorchers in the 1980s, Jason pioneered the fusion of punk rock and country that helped birth the modern Americana and Alt-Country genres. There is a Scorchers exhibit in the Country Music Hall of Fame and they are recipients of the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award. No less than UK’s The Times called Jason “one of the most dynamic live performers of his generation.” Jason could rest easy, assured that his place in rock ‘n’ roll history was secure.
However, by the early 2000s, it was time for a change. He was living on a farm west of Nashville with his young family and itching to try something different, something more organic and family-oriented. “As a child, I had grown up on our Illinois farm that bordered the Rock Island Line Railroad. I taught myself to play guitar and harmonica listening to those trains go by,” remembers Jason. “Every spare minute I would hike and wander those fields and forests relishing the wonders of nature, a habit I have maintained to this day.” Based on those childhood experiences, he created the family music character Farmer Jason in 2002. A Day at the Farm with Farmer Jason was released in 2003. Stylistically leaning towards acoustic folk and bluegrass, the concept of the record was to educate and entertain pre-school children with songs about farm animals and farm life. “My ambitions were quite simple: to make a record that my own daughters and their little friends could enjoy,” Jason said. To his delight and surprise, the project took root, earning kudos like Disney’s Family Fun magazine’s Best of the Year list. Soon kids were singing along to “The Tractor Goes Chug Chug Chug” at Farmer Jason family concerts all over North America and Europe in venues ranging from fairs on the Alaskan tundra to private schools in posh central London.
Rockin’ in the Forest with Farmer Jason followed in 2006, with Farmer Jason signed to the major label Kid Rhino/Lionsgate. This time the recording was much more electric and high energy, with songs about the forest and its inhabitants. “Punk Rock Skunk,” a hilarious ode to the virtues of being different, was a hit with kids and adults alike. Rockin’ in the Forest solidified Farmer Jason’s position in the family music world as a long term artist, earning awards like a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and Childen’s Record of the Year listing by the Los Angeles Times.
Nashville Public Television noticed this phenomenon in their backyard and decided to produce a video interstitial program using the Farmer Jason songs and personality called It’s a Farmer Jason. The program won an Emmy Award and four Emmy nominations. In 2011 Farmer Jason created tracks for the Green Bay Packers and Charlotte Panthers to use in their family promotions. The tractor was rolling in the National Football League!
The story continued with his release Nature Jams in 2011. Each track had guest star artists singing duets about nature subjects and outdoor activities like whale watching, ice skating, hiking, and spelunking. “The central goal of the record is to inspire and motivate children to get outdoors and experience nature firsthand,” said Jason. “I get more satisfaction when that happens than from any award or sold-out show.”
The guest star list on the release was both impressive and unexpected. Farmer Jason pulled in many old and new friends, including Steve Gorman of the Black Crowes, Mike Mills from R.E.M., Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, Iris DeMent, indie folk darling Brandi Carlile, Grammy®-award winning bassist Vic Wooten, Americana hipster Todd Snider, banjo virtuoso Alison Brown, Zydeco star Terrance Simien, platinum-selling vocalist Suzy Bogguss, Irish rockers The Saw Doctors, humorist-musician Webb Wilder, Hank Williams III and the legendary Tommy Ramone of the Ramones. Other guest artists were Jo Nesbø, the international best selling mystery novelist; Kristi Rose, a Nashville chanteuse; and Ruthie Foster, the Blues Music Awards’ Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. Even Jason and the Scorchers joined in. Stylistically the songs ranged from Celtic rock to pure folk.
His latest Farmer Jason project is the wondrous Christmas album Christmas on the Farm with Farmer Jason. On this record, our good farmer explores the farming connections to the Christmas story. He wrote several new Christmas songs, as well as rendering his unique twist to some Holiday classics. USA Today called it “one of the most entertaining and educational Christmas records of the Season.”
You can bet the Farmer Jason tractor will keep on chugging and will someday come to your town. Grab a pitchfork – or a guitar – and hop aboard.
“This may be an unexpected turn for a club-rock veteran, but he pulls it off with conviction, spirit, terrific music, and a big heart.”
— BARNES AND NOBLE.com
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