More Than Words Can Tell – Out April 5
Victoria Liedtke and Jason Ringenberg pair their voices with the genius songwriting of Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner for a new duet album.
The project sees the duo deep dive into the early songwriting partnership of Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, cherry-picking musical gems and little-heard tracks from their expansive back catalog.
More Than Words Can Tell was produced By Victoria Liedtke, co-produced by Elliot Vaughan, and mixed by Liedtke and Vaughan. She and Jason recorded the album at Vale Studios in Worcester, UK, in the Summer of 2022 with a UK-based band. The band features CJ Hillman (Billy Bragg/Yola) on electric guitar and slide guitar, John Parker(Nizlopi) on double bass, Lewis ‘Burner’ Pugh on acoustic guitar, and Tim Prottey-Jones (First Time Flyers) on drums as well as a plethora of guest musicians throughout. This album is set for release on April 5, 2024.
The first single taken from the album was “Life Rides The Train” – a guitar-laden Porter Wagoner penned track originally recorded in 1972 and later included on the Dolly and Porter 1975 album Say Forever You’ll be Mine. “While Dolly’s extraordinary songwriting prowess certainly looms large on our album,” Liedtke comments, “it’s been great to feature and celebrate some truly excellent songwriting from Porter- this song being no exception!” Americana UK premiered the video here http://tinyurl.com/5xj3a552
The album’s second single, Come To Me, saw a change of pace as the duo reimagined the Dolly Parton-written track with swooping and atmospheric string arrangements by Sean O’Hagan (Stereolab, High Llamas, Microdisney) and additional timpani, vibraphone, and other tuned percussion courtesy of Bryan Scary – placing the song into the spooky cowboy/spaghetti western territory. The video for Come To Me premiered on Holler in December (check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/yre3epbk).
When it came to selecting the tracks to record for More Than Words Can Tell, “I really wanted to focus on the songs that some scope for us to play around with the instrumentation and arrangement without disrupting the soul of the song.” Victoria explains, “It was important that Jason and I’s performances sounded like Jason and Victoria, not Jason and Victoria attempting to do Dolly and Porter. This allowed us the freedom to find our own unique dynamic for the album.”
Victoria also began work on different production methods with arrangements, adding some textures and colors but honoring the originals and the production stylings involved. Heavily influenced by 60s and 70s music herself, she was able to put her touches on them and make it work “from dramatic strings to big country chorale-style backing vocals to big warm, open mixes that allow for the little idiosyncrasies to peek through,” smiles the Oklahoman transplant. “What made this project so fun was bringing together these incredible UK musicians that come from the worlds of Americana, Country, Folk, and Pop and inject these 50-year-old classic American country songs into this musical melting pot.”
Enter Jason Ringenberg: Coined the “Godfather of Americana” by Mojo magazine, the former Jason and The Scorchers frontman Jason was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance’ by the Americana Music Association in 2009. Jason has continued his solo career with six albums, four Farmer Jason albums, a DVD, and an Emmy Award-winning TV show called “It’s A Farmer Jason.”
Jason’s reverence of country and rock music has always been his forte, mixing the sounds of Hank Williams, The Ramones, and a dash of Bob Dylan and his tenor voice. In 2021, he made his Grand Ole Opry debut 40 years after he arrived in Nashville, TN, via his family’s hog farm in Illinois. He is still a force to reckon with, leaving stages burnt to the ground worldwide, whether in a solo show or with a band. And when Victoria approached him to be involved with such a project, he was intrigued. “When Victoria contacted me about being the ‘Porter’ in this project, I was super excited. The Dolly-Porter duets are some of the finest ever recorded in country music history. I am a huge fan of theirs.”
“Once we dove into the project, I was supremely impressed by the production ethic and creative ambition that Victoria brought to the table. She didn’t slavishly copy the originals. In fact, she and her team created entirely new interpretations of those classic songs,” states Jason.
Originally from Oklahoma, Victoria found herself touring throughout the UK, Europe, and Japan in early 2010, singing in various projects, including Hey! Hello! which was nominated for Best New Band at the Classic Rock Awards in 2013? In 2015, Victoria relocated to the UK and now resides in the Yorkshire Dales. “Victora Liedtke is an absolute star – sassy, playful and effortlessly cool” Classic Rock Magazine
Liedtke concludes, “This record is aggressively wholesome, which I think is its strength. Just not a hard edge in sight! This wasn’t a “Hey guys, this ain’t your mama’s country music album!” situation. In fact, I would say this IS your mama’s country music album. And guess what? Your mama had incredible taste!”
Entertainment-Focus (UK) has praised this album, “set to captivate audiences with its fresh interpretations and thoughtful collaborations…” Fans of all four artists represented in the project will be delighted.
For more info, visit www.victoriaandjason.net