Farmer Jason and Buddies 'Nature Jams' - Courageous Chicken/Universal

It seems kinda ironic that the most commercially successful faze of Jason Ringenberg's career is as his alter-ego (identical twin-brother) Farmer Jason. This is because though the Farmer Jason albums are aimed at kids the music on them differs little from the Jason Ringenberg solo albums. Here it also confirms the respect and friendship he has with other musicians, some old friend some new ones. Each track on the album has a bunch of guests and opens with some dialogue that introduces the song and the guests. This may get a little tiresome after repeated listens as it is aimed at a younger audience that some listeners may be. But with such guests as Suzy Bogguss, Iris DeMent, Mike Mills, Todd Snider, Webb Wilder, The Saw Doctors, Hank 3, Tommy Ramone and author Jo Nesbo along with The Scorchers there are a lot of different flavours to keep the whole album songs diverse. Jason is still central to the whole project his voice, songs and enthusiasm are the lynch-pin of the creativity. He is a unique vocalist who is immediately identifiable. He also brings with him his usual crew of players as well as long-time producer (for many of these songs) George Bradfute. who plays many instruments alongside players like Jim Hoke and Fats Kaplin amongst others. There is a DVD of four of the songs included, which show Jason with a group of children, which adds a visual element to the package that also has a coloured cartoon style booklet with full credits. There are going to be many different favourites for listeners of all ages but right now I like the Iris DeMent, Hank 3, Webb Wilder and Mike Mills tracks but that changes with each listen. This is the most ambitious and accomplished collection yet from the Farmer Jason collective and underlines the unique nature of both sides of his talent and longevity. Farmer Jason succeeds because he doesn't play down to his younger audience or by compromising his music, many of these songs (with different lyrics) could easily fit on his other albums.