Today everyone from Ziggy Marley to Jewel to Barenaked Ladies release children's music albums. They Might Be Giants has created a second career making music for young kids. But Jason Ringenberg of `80s country-punk pioneers Jason and the Scorchers donned bib overalls and adopted an alter-ego over a decade ago when he assumed the identity of Farmer Jason. Farmer Jason released his latest album, "Nature Jams," in February and returns to Evening Muse for a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, March 31.
"Nature Jams," which comes with a bonus DVD, is a guest-heavy effort that finds Farmer Jason singing about all kinds of outdoor activities. Cheap Trick's Tom Peterson and singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster join him for an ode to spelunking. He and R.E.M.'s Mike Mills sing of hiking. Americana songwriter Webb Wilder and the Black Crowes' Steve Gorman team with Ringenberg on a bouncy gem called "Dison the Bison."
Our three-year-old was instantly drawn to the banjo-driven "Can You Canoe?" which features Alison Brown on five-string.
"Nature Jams" also highlights how environmentalism relates to enjoying the great outdoors. Jason and the Scorchers sing about glaciers. He and Nashville neighbor Hank Williams III and Tommy Ramone sing about manatees.
The music leans toward country and folk, but there are other styles as well. Victor Wooten lays down a spoken-word, jazz-funk groove. The Saw Doctors rock pretty hard on "Well Oh Whale." Some of the songs are pretty punky.
Todd Snider, who appeared on Ringenberg's 2006 similarly-themed kid's record "Rockin' in the Forest"(which was recently remastered), returns to sing about moose . You can hear how much fun he and Ringenberg had recording the intro.
You can learn more about the new album here. Tickets to Saturday afternoon's children's show are $8-$10. www.eveningmuse.com