The Scorcher frees himself for an eclecticism off-limits to his pioneering country-punk band

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Jason Ringenberg – Empire Builders

Ringenberg’s last two efforts proper have veered from stripped-down country to collaborations with The Wildhearts and Lambchop. Here, rustic Americana, including an Indian’s dream, a spirited Link Wray homage, and a heartfelt, fiddle-driven tribute to Dad (“Half The Man”), collide with heated political commentary. Ringenberg righteously mocks the pseudopatriotic political right, borrowing from the Beats on two spoken-word pieces. Best, though, is “Rebel Flag In Germany”, a crash-up of politics, symbolism, and good ol’ sour mash rock’n’roll.