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CD Review: Jason and the Scorchers' Halcyon Days 

The Deal: Triumphant return of rockin' cow punkery.

The Good: "He's a moonshine guy in a six-pack world," Jason Ringenberg proclaims on "Moonshine Guy." That lyric pretty much sums up the Scorchers. Way too wild and strong to be bottled up and labeled, the Scorchers torched their competition, but burned themselves out in the process. Nearly 30 years later, the band has reunited, with Ringenberg and original guitarist Warner Hodges leading the fray with twangy assistance from former Georgia Satellites guitarist Dan Baird. But this time out, it's not a blazing run over the edge of a cliff into the fiery pit. There's still plenty of heat, but more introspection. "Twang Town Blues" is a hybrid of Steve Earle, Springsteen and Johnny Cash. "Fear Not Gear Rot" and "Mona Lee" feature the cow-punky swagger that sent them to the head of the line in their heyday. "Better Than This" blends the band's blistering rock with prettier harmonies than the Scorchers ever scraped from their raw throats in a past life. "When Did It Get So Easy" features Baird's funky backporch Georgia drawl on a good ole boy foot stomper.

The Bad: That it took so long. Definitely worth the wait, though.

The Verdict: On Halcyon Days, Jason proves he has not sold out or cashed in. His body has aged, but his spirit has not.

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