Drink Ring Jesus
The songs on Drink Ring Jesus tell stories of country life's dark side and serve to remind listeners how it feels to stand at the intersection of piety and sin. It provides a front porch view of life in rural Tennessee, albeit one with a sometimes sinister perspective. Simmons dispenses with the rhythm section and electric guitars, making his last-song-of-the-night vocals and hardtack acoustic accompaniment seem all the more ominous and immediate. This is the follow-up to Simmons full-band debut, Last Call, which was praised by critics worldwide. Among it's remarkable notices, renowned country music authority Robert K. Oermann called the record 'ragged-but-right' and 'utterly compelling.' In a coup for Stephen's do-it-yourself marketing scheme, The November 2004 edition of Mojo Magazine listed him, along with the likes of Bobby Bare, Jr. and Josh Ritter, as 'One Of Five Young Bucks Taking a Lead From Johnny Cash'.