Jason Ringenberg All Over Creation

On this second solo release from the Jason and the Scorchers' front-man, Ringenberg once again attempts to branch out from the trailblazing cow-punk sound that has become that band's calling card. Luckily, he doesn't feel it necessary to suddenly become an introspective singer/songwriter, and mostly sticks to upbeat country themes, with each track being notable for an interesting collaboration. Things get off to an expected scorching start with "Honky Tonk Maniac From Mars," proceeding into the George Jones weeper "I Dreamed My Baby Came Home." Ringenberg clearly revels in having so many diverse contributions to his record, which is probably a good thing, considering his own voice is still not the most compelling instrument. Steve Earle fans will appreciate his appearance on "Bible And A Gun," and Todd Snider is his wonderfully sly self on "James Dean's Car." Other points of interests are a new interpretation of the Gun Club's "Mother Of Earth," a song that Sadies fans will already be familiar with, and his gender twist on Loretta Lynn's "Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)." The only mismatch is Ringenberg fronting Lambchop on the overwrought Civil War tale "Erin's Seed." He is obviously reaching to make a grand statement on America, but the result is a history lesson with a typically somnambulant Lambchop punching the clock. Overall, though, a satisfying but underwhelming effort, just as the last few Scorchers' albums have been. (Yep Roc)