Two of the best musical experiences I had in 2002 were courtesy of solo performers: Paul Westerberg enthralling a packed Cat’s Cradle and Jason Ringenberg charming a couple dozen folks in the courtyard of Durham’s Brightleaf Square on an early-fall Saturday afternoon. The sizable courtyard could barely contain a careening, guitar-slinging Ringenberg. (My favorite description of Ringenberg’s hyperactivity as frontguy for country-punk pioneers Jason & the Scorchers remains “like Ed Norton on amphetamines.”)

Thus, I can’t wait to see how he handles the friendly but close confines of a living room when he does a house concert on Saturday, Jan. 11, as part of Chapel Hill’s Afternoon Nap series. Even if Ringenberg has to be chained to a chair to prevent him from accidentally totaling a credenza, expect an evening of Scorcher favorites, cuts from his solo releases (including 2002’s All Over Creation, which features collaborations with Steve Earle, Lambchop, and others), and choice covers, all delivered by one of the hardest working and easiest to like musicians around. For concert details, send an e-mail to or call 408-0207.
–Rick Cornell