We were a little surprised when we arrived at 7:30 to find Jason Ringenberg already playing. Not necessarily because he had started at 7:15; the posted time is 7, but these residency shows rarely start before half past. No it was surprising because Ringenberg’s host, Robbie Fulks, was nowhere to be seen. Usually these shows follow the same format, Fulks and his guest trade songs, often playing a couple of the other’s songs, and playing together on others. Start at 7:30, done before 9. Ringenberg didn’t seem to want to do it that way. Instead he played he played a set first because he claimed he didn’t ever want to follow Fulks. He played a selection of songs from his massive catalog before ceding the stage to Fulks. Who clearly did not want to play some songs by himself. Instead he spent a lot of time telling stories, reluctantly playing a couple of songs before announcing they would take a break before finishing the show together.
The break definitely messed up my schedule. I rely on these shows finishing early so I can catch the 10:15 bus back to Madison. Still, the songs they played together made it worth it. Ringenberg’s voice is not what you would call a pretty voice, however it is perfect for the Honky Tonk that both he and Fulks do so well. Hearing them sing “Golden Ball and Chain” (likely the Scorchers biggest hit) together and Ringenberg taking on Fulks’ “The Buck Starts Here” made me forget how disappointed I had been with the bowling alley show. I got worried I was going to miss my bus so I left before the encore, but I feel like I got my ten bucks worth. It wasn’t a usual residency show but it was still a good show.