"The quick-fingered Jason Ring is known as a man who can jam hard on anything with strings. Known around the state as a one-man, country-bluegrass-blues band, Jason Ring improvises fiery, intricate loops on the guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro, and bass. Ring grew up in Galax, Virginia, a town that echoes with tunes from the world famous Galax Fiddlerâ€™s Convention, and at age 5 he started picking his own brew of bluegrass, Piedmont blues, and jazz with a little help from his folks. The traditional sounds of the Blue Ridge mixed with the eclectic flavors of jazz, ragtime, and gypsy swing that penetrate Ringâ€™s songbook are the perfect accompaniment to a barstool, a bourbon, and a bowl of complimentary peanuts."
1st Place Winner - Banjo Competition 1st Place Winner - Guitar Competition
2nd Place Winner - Banjo Competition 2nd Place Winner - Guitar Competition
2nd Place Winner - Banjo Competition 2nd Place Winner - Dobro Competition 2nd Place Winner - Guitar Competition
Review of latest CD, Patchwork: "Patchwork is an apt name for a project as it takes a little of this & a little of that & places it into one beautiful quilt. Different instruments, different styles of singing, plus traditional, pop, & original songs gives you the project you will be listening to for many hours. This project has many twists & turns & you never know what will be found in the next song. After listening to this project several times you finally have a good understanding of the man & his music. I was totally mesmerized while listening to this project. I played the entire cd & received many requests to play a majority of the songs again. I know this cd will be with me for many weeks to come."
"Ring is the kind of guitarist who makes fledgling finger pickers angry. He's just too good, too fast, too crisp. How can the rest of us pull off that mess of blues?"
Review of latest CD, Patchwork: "Most of these sixteen tracks highlight the multi-instrumental skills of Jason Ring - he plays all the instruments on Patchwork - with particular focus on his distinctive guitar, banjo and mandolin talents. Ring is imaginative and interesting on all three, and especially features some banjo licks you're not likely to have heard anywhere else. He's also a more than respectable vocalist, as he demonstrates on Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" and Blind Willie McTell's "Shake Down Rider Blues." "
IBMA has included Jason Ring's latest CD, Patchwork, as part of the "Fresh Sounds in the World of Bluegrass" for Jan/Feb 2008. "Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Jason Ring developed an appreciation of bluegrass, folk, Delta blues and all styles in betweenâ€”creating the musical â€œpatchworkâ€ of influences heard on this CD. In the annual Virginia Bluegrass Music State Championships, Jason won five awards during the past two years in the Dobro, banjo and guitar categories. Known as a â€œone man country-bluegrass-blues band,â€ Jason plays most stringed instruments and has been known to throw in scat singing and the â€œmouth trumpetâ€ flugel."
Review of latest CD, Patchwork: "Jason Ringâ€™s debut certainly rings true as a personification of his character and musicianship. As the only musician on this generous hour-long project, Ring provides vocals, guitar, resonator guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and mouth flugel. His eclectic, mostly original set creates many moods by drawing inspiration from a multi-genre concoction of bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz and ragtime. The solo album has considerable individualism and moments of impressive musicianship and emotionally-charged vocalizing from the Galax, Va. native who was a third place multi-instrumental winner (guitar, banjo, Dobro) at the 2006 Virginia Bluegrass Music Championships. Ringâ€™s stripped down approach is also a showcase that makes for a very accessible presentation. Ringâ€™s prowess on guitar is best displayed on his finger-picked original called â€œOnusâ€ and his jazzy cover of â€œCominâ€™ Home Baby.â€ A six-minute banjo composition, â€œBanjologyâ€ comes from a live recording in which heâ€™s heard joking with the audience that he might have called the piece â€œBecause I Can.â€ Another original, â€œFloatâ€ creates a kaleidoscope of leisurely sound as the nimble-fingered Ring produces an interpretive resonance with the Dobro. â€œThe Argumentâ€ is a multi-tracked sonic conversation between Jasonâ€™s various instruments. Jasonâ€™s unpretentious, bluesy vocals appear in a number of covers from the likes of Blind Willie McTell, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Ben Tucker/Bob Dorough, and traditional sources. Unfortunately, his own â€œWelcome to Nashvilleâ€ is a bit lackluster as it decries the townâ€™s approach to â€œprocessed country musicâ€ before ending with an instrumental reprise of â€œWildwood Flower.â€ While some additional vocal harmony (and perhaps guest fiddling) would have taken â€œPatchworkâ€ to an even higher overall level, thereâ€™s still plenty of vigor and enthusiasm on an album that always keeps Jason Ring as the well-deserved center of attention."
Review of latest CD, Patchwork: "Lovely collection of acoustic folk, country and bluegrass from major star in the making - Jason Ring is one of those guys youâ€™d hate if he wasnâ€™t so nice and unassuming. Not only does he play guitar, mandolin, banjo and resonator (and a few more) but he plays them all superbly, and he does so in a nicely understated style that fits his music, rather than just showing off his chops. Said music is a gumbo of styles, from bluegrass to jazz, folk to ragtime, to name but four. His album is perfectly titled, as not only is it a patchwork of styles but itâ€™s like one of those patchwork quilts that are worked across generations, with each successive quilter taking on the previous work and adding something that is both new and fits in with the old perfectly. To cap it all Ring is a decent writer too, and whether itâ€™s an instrumental like Simplify or the scatting Jebediahâ€™s Heartbreak his songs fit in perfectly alongside traditional pieces like Working On A Building and Train 45 and an inspired reading of the Carter Family favourite Gold Watch and Chain. Even his anti-Nashville song, Welcome to Nashville, breathes some life into that tired genre. Thereâ€™s a couple of covers too, Donâ€™t Think Twice Itâ€™s Alright, which is a bit too cheery to really work well, and Leonard Cohenâ€™s Hallelujah, which is anything but and as understatedly effective as Jeff Buckleyâ€™s diametrically opposed take. Ring feels his music, and makes the listener feel it too. There are few people who can play like him and fewer who have anything like his collection of talents. With a bit of luck, a bit of exposure and plenty more PATCHWORK-standard music he could be the next big thingâ€¦and deservedly so."
"This guy is so good you want to hate him but why bother? In the spirit of every organic sound you ever loved from Leo Kottke to the early NAC line up at Rounder in the 80s before the sound had a name, Ring can play anything and seemingly everything, instruments and styles. From Takoma to Tompkins Square, he seems to have soaked it all up and did something to make it all his own. Cleaning up on awards at every competition he looks at, this cat is the next barn burner to be on the look out for. Been wondering where the next Chet Atkins etc is going to come from? Look no further. This is some killer real music."
3rd Place Winner - Dobro Competition 3rd Place Winner - Guitar Competition
3rd place winner - Male Vocal Competition
Review of latest CD, Patchwork: "Some people are afraid to stray too far from tradition in the realms of bluegrass and folk. Virginia's Jason Ring is far from afraid as he proves with his unique perspectives on this excellent CD. "Driving Song" kicks starts the disc with a frenetic, avant garde bluegrass instrumental. "Working On A Building" showcases Jason's folksy but emotive vocals. Along with very solid songwriting capabilities, Jason's acoustic guitar and banjo plucking are nothing less than phenomenal. If this guy keeps it up, they could be talking about him decades from now like they talk about Bill Monroe today."
Review of latest CD, Patchwork: "Jason Ring is one of those one-man-band guys. In this case, his band is of the country-bluegrass-blues, one-person unit variety. Patchwork finds Ring playing guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, resonator guitar, and mouth flugel (a horn-imitating vocal technique rather an actual instrument). Oh, and he also sings. Patchwork is a 16-song mixture of originals and covers. One self-written banjo instrumental exercise, titled â€œBanjology,â€ comes off especially nicely, like Mozart-meets-â€œDeliverance.â€ A few of this discâ€™s covers are traditionals, including â€œWorking on a Buildingâ€ and â€œGold Watch and Chain,â€ the latter made popular by The Carter Family. Mr. Ring also takes on Bob Dylanâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Think Twice, Itâ€™s Alrightâ€ and Leonard Cohenâ€™s â€œHallelujah.â€ Ring is a skillful player and a fine singer to boot. His choice in covers reveals a lover of song as well as a man that enjoys plucking at his various stringed things. He's at his band-iest on "Train," which finds Ring playing a large variety of instruments on the track. A title like Patchwork suggests a scattered, odds â€˜n sods collection. Yet this fine acoustic work holds together quite well as one seamless whole."
Featured Artist for May 2007 - "No gimmicks, just good musicianship!"
3rd Place Winner - Dobro competition 3rd Place Winner - Banjo competition 3rd Place Winner - Guitar competition
The Roanoke Times interviews Jason Ring (link includes entire text)
1st Place Winner - Solo Instrumental Category
2005 appearance on Open Mic' - 30 minute show broadcast on WBRA (Blue Ridge PBS) where Jason had the opportunity to perform live and answer a few questions about his experiences as a musician.