Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Jason Ringenberg Meets "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe"

I've been a huge fan of Jason Ringenberg ever since I first heard Jason and the Scorchers in the early '80s. (One of my proudest moments and a a reissue producer was compiling and annotating Are You Ready for the Country, a Scorchers compilation.) When I first thought of The Sandinista Project, Jason was one of the first people I contacted. He recognized it was a crazy idea -- and he wanted in. I am delighted to report that Jason has delivered a jaw-dropping version of "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe."

As anyone who's reading this knows, "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" is in many ways the most locked-in-its-time song on the original Sandinista! Sung by Topper, it's a straight disco track with lyrics moving U.S.-Soviet competition to an atomic dancefloor. You might think that would be off-topic for Jason, but anyone who's heard Empire Builders knows that he has been thinking hard about this big, bad world in recent years. You might also think straight disco might be a bit off-genre for Jason, too, and he agreed. His "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" -- performed as a tough Ernest-and-Loretta-style duet with Pulp Country siren Kristi Rose -- is as hard as hard country gets. As wide-ranging as the original Sandinista! was, it didn't go country. Now it does. I am grateful to Jason and Kristi for their wonderful work. You'll be, too, when you hear it.

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