Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Adams’

Whiskeytown Pneumonia

It was 1999 and Ryan Adams, the man who formed pioneers Whiskeytown and led them for close to five years through series of beloved live shows and three studio albums – the last of which, Pneumonia, was only just in the can – was ready to move on. Having already jettisoned his first musical incarnation, The Patty Duke Syndrome (a short-lived punk outfit formed just outside of his hometown, Jacksonville, North Carolina), it was time for him to go solo and leave another band, another persona behind.

Since their much-lauded second album, Strangers Almanac, Whiskeytown had become the torch-bearers for the new breed of It’s not difficult to imagine a young Sturgill Simpson nodding along to the slow rambles and dreaming lyricism of its frontman.
But it would be on their final, “lost” album, Pneumonia, that Adams finally stopped limiting himself to people’s perceptions of what Whiskeytown should be, and followed his own intuitions and influences.

Pneumonia was borne amid of a series of record industry mergers and a tumultuous tour in support of Strangers Almanac, during which the band cycled through line-ups, with just Adams and violinist Caitlin Cary as its constants. With the record being shelved for two years, Adams and company had amassed a great number of tracks to choose from, resulting in a folk- and country-influenced pop/rock creation that refused to be pigeonholed. At the time, fans of Whiskeytown were surprised by this musical departure, but it when it came to their shape-shifting frontman, Pneumonia would serve as a harbinger to Ryan Adams’ future solo efforts.

Adams had always insisted he never wanted to be the “frontman” of Whiskeytown, thinking of it as more of a collective that shared the spotlight and song-writing duties. But on Pneumonia, the prolific songwriter took the lead. When it came to developing the sound, however, it would be producer Ethan Johns (son of legendary producer/engineer Glyn Johns) who would take the reins. Their creative collaboration would continue on Adams’ solo debut, Heartbreaker, and subsequent albums.

Pneumonia is an open and honest album about loss and moving on from what pains you. Adams has described it as “the euphoria you get when you’re sick”, and there’s certainly a bittersweet sense to proceedings. The album opens with a lover’s farewell, ‘The Ballad Of Carol Lynn’, a song of strained appreciation for a troubled soul who’s too much for the singer to deal with any longer. It’s one of seven songs written with multi-instrumentalist Mike Daly and features Adams’ passionate vocals over a simple piano arrangement and harmonic interludes.

The following track, ‘Don’t Wanna Know Why’, is more upbeat rhythmically, but still stuck in the mud of a difficult parting of ways. The lyrics “Breathe in, breathe out” signify an attempt at the patience a lover seeks to find while in the middle of reconciling the end of something.

On ‘Jacksonville Skyline’, Adams goes into storyteller mode, recalling a small-town tale that feels like a homesick ode to his childhood home. At first the song seems like a simple vignette about day-to-day life in the south, but through the lens of Pneumonia as a whole, it takes on another meaning. Is its narrator longing for more simple days before the complications that clearly burden him, overwhelmed him? Over a decade after its recording, the song continued to resonate with Adams, who performed solo versions of it on his stunning solo 2011 acoustic tour, collected on the 15LP box set Live After Deaf.

The next four entries play like stages of a dissolving of a relationship. Even the song titles refer to those tense conversations one must have to explain, comfort, blame and finally accept. ‘Reasons To Lie’, ‘Don’t Be Sad’, ‘Sit And Listen To The Rain’ and ‘Under Your Breath’ are the heavy lifting of the sorrow this album dramatises.

‘Mirror, Mirror’ is the first hopeful song on the album. Almost out of place with its jaunty horn section and cheery backing vocals, it has more in common with a Ben Folds Five cut than anything anyone had heard from Whiskeytown. Nonetheless, upon re-examination, it feels fuelled by the freedom of a recently emancipated person who’s ready for what life has in store. ‘Paper Moon’, meanwhile, evokes a warm evening under the stars. Featuring orchestral arrangements by Glyn Johns, it lifts you up and carries you down cobblestone streets with its lilting melody and mandolins.

By the time the languid and sultry ‘What The Devil Wanted’ hits you, it’s clear we are now in the soft embrace of a new relationship. The past is gone and a new romance has blossomed. “All my time is wasteful now,” is not just a lyric, it’s a belief system for the man singing it. While most of Pneumonia takes on a first-person point of view, it’s not without some wonderful harmonising between Adams and Cary, especially on the penultimate track, ‘Easy Hearts’.

For a band remembered as pioneers, Pneumonia is full of welcome experimentation, each track bearing its own sonic feeling and diverse vocal delivery while still telling a cohesive story. It comes to a close with ‘Bar Lights’ and the hidden track, ‘To Be Evil’, an imperfect recording that ends with Adams laughing at his own mistakes. It’s as close to Springsteen as there Pneumonia gets, and – whether consciously or unconsciously – if Adams is leaning on The Boss here, it doesn’t matter. The results are a fitting farewell for a band that many would have liked to have seen stick around.


Ryan Adams Spring Tour 2019

Ryan Adams has announced ambitious plans to release three albums this year. He disseminated the info about two of the albums, called “Big Colors” and “Wednesday”, via some political journalists’ Twitter feeds.

The first of those albums to be released is “Big Colors” — it’s due out in April via Pax-Am/Blue Note/Capitol Records — and he debuted the first song from it on the Philadelphia radio station WXPN. Its choice of premiere locale seems intentional: The song is called “Doylestown Girl,” named after a nearby Pennsylvania town in Bucks County.

Adams announced that he plans on releasing three new albums at some point in 2019, which he’d previously done back in 2005. One of those albums is expected to be titled, Big Colors, and will presumably include a pair of new singles titled “Anybody Evil”, and “Fuck The Rain”. According to some of the posts shared to Adams’ Twitter account earlier this week and again on Thursday, both Mayer and Weir will be making a musical appearance on at least one of those projects.

In a press release, Ryan Adams announced his new track “Fuck The Rain” with the words “Check out this song it’s cool.” Or don’t- we all might the trump is president. I love you, sincerely Ryan Adams.

In a series of tweets posted by Adams, the rock musician informed fans that Mayer provided the solo on “Fuck The Rain”, which is scheduled to arrive on all platforms this coming Wednesday, January 23rd. The confirmation on Thursday comes a day after Adams shared a trio of photographs of himself, Mayer, and Blue Note Records President/Wolf Bros bassist Don Was working together in the studio. Was also accompanied Adams on stage during his brief performance at the Chris Cornell Tribute Concert in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Adams made sure to tag Blue Note Records, along with Capitol Records, in the social posts, leading fans to assume the upcoming projects will arrive through the historic record label.

Earlier Ryan had shared a photo alongside Weir, stating the two were working on a “secret thing” at Adams’ Pax-Am Studios.

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Some amazing reissues this week and an awful lot. We have Guns ‘n’ Roses, Wire, Aphex Twin, Guru and that LOST Coltrane album, I would happily have any of them as my record of the week.

The reissues of the first three Wire albums on vinyl are upon us, and not before time. Wire emerged from the ghetto that is St. Albans in October 1976, inspired by the punk explosion. Harvest Records, a label which had up to that point had a roster comprised almost completely of acts punks would have spat on decided it needed to get in on the act and signed them, not realising they were not, despite an exquisite talent for melody and inventiveness, going to furnish them with hits, and so they parted company in 1979. As it happens, “Pink Flag”, “Chairs Missing” and “154”, spanning playful art punk, new wave and post punk in a seamless line between 1977 and 1979 are about as good as any of those genres get. The three are all indispensable artifacts of the era.

Let’s Eat Grandma follow up the much vaunted “I, Gemini” with the equally beguiling “I’m All Ears”, while the Gorillaz enthusiastic genre bending mission continues unabashed with the excellent “The Now Now”.

Record Of The Week goes to Numero Groups stunning compilation of the first 4 albums by Happy Rhodes. Pure dream pop, I instantly fell in love with this. Its like a more stripped back Kate Bush, which brings in some lovely synth as it progresses.
Its the kind of album that I wish I had received a promo for as I have massively under ordered! You can stream on Numero’s bandcamp page,


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Let’s Eat Grandma return with their newest edition, ‘I’m All Ears’ which an even greater revelation than Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth’s globally acclaimed debut, I, Gemini. The second act from the British teenage vocalists, multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, is the most startling, infectious, innovative and thrilling record you’ll hear this year. It is alive with furious pop, unapologetic grandeur, intimate ballads; with loops, Logic, outrageous 80s drum solos, as well as production from David Wrench (The XX/Frank Ocean/Caribou), Sophie (famed for her own material and work with Madonna, Charli XCX and Vince Staples) and Faris Badwan (The Horrors). Their sound has developed a stronger electronic tone while remaining their upbeat young vocals throughout. It’s an album that cements Let’s Eat Grandma as one of the most creative and exciting bands in the world right now.


Florence + the Machine  – High As Hope

Florence + the Machine announces new album, ‘High As Hope’. For perhaps the first time, ‘High As Hope’ is a record that is as intimate as it is epic, with the more restrained sound relatively speaking; Florence knows herself well enough now to declare “I’m never going to be minimal” -mirroring this sense that happiness doesn’t always have to be big and dramatic:There’s a lot of love in this record, loneliness too, but a lot of love.”

An album that mixes high and low–from a tribute to Patti Smith one minute to being ghosted over text by a date the next –‘High As Hope’ is made up, says Florence, “of joy and fury”…

“Towering performer twirls back with power and poetry” – Evening Standard,
“A euphoric return by a singular talent” – Telegraph,
“an appealingly visceral force” – Guardian.


Happy Rhodes – Ectotrophia

The first authoritative compilation of American dream pop artist Happy Rhodes, whose singular songwriting and four-octave vocal range emanated from the pastoral confines of upstate New York in the 1980s. Her melding of classical music influences with synthesizer and acoustic guitar, and her enchanting and idiosyncratic singing, are favorably compared to heralded English chanteuse Kate Bush. Fans of such artistic pop music would be remiss to overlook Rhodes’s similarly remarkable and otherworldly sonic transmissions, traversing tales of dreamers, outsiders, lovers and other lovely and terrifying creatures born of a wellspring of wild creativity and bold imagination. Affectionately remastered from the original tapes, Ectotrophia gathers essential songs from Rhodes’s mid-’80s salad days, many written when she was just a teenager – wildly ahead of her time and unafraid to bare her soul to regional audiences, the ectophiles who’d eventually coin an entire subgenre of pop music in her honor. Dive deep into ecto, with the woman who started it all.

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Dawes – Passwords

On the group’s sixth album, Passwords, inspiration pulls guitarist / singer Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Gelber, and keyboardist Lee Pardini into their most universal, topical territory to date. This is a record about the modern world: the relationships that fill it, the politics that divide it, the small victories and big losses that give it shape. Taylor’s writing is personal at points – the result of his recent engagement, which lends a sense of gravity and self-reflection to album highlights like Time Flies Either Way and I Can’t Love – but it also zooms out, focusing not on the director himself, but on everything within the lens.

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The Alarm  –  Equals

Equalsis The Alarm’s first album since 2010’s Direct Action. It is a barnstorming collection of 11 songs that act as a retrenchment of old values and a poignant reflection of the tough times Mike Peters and his wife Jules have been through in recent years. Produced by George Williams (who previously worked on 2005’s Under Attack), Equals opens with a torrent of epic rock numbers such as Two Riversand Beautiful, which see Peters singing about coming to terms with the past before moving to enjoy life to the full. With Mike and Jules joined by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros drummer Smiley and guitarist James Stevenson, who cut his teeth with Chelsea, Gen X and The Cult, the album encompasses twin harmony guitars, pounding drums and electronic layering, while guest guitarist Billy Duffy (The Cult) helps Peters and Stevenson blend acoustic and electric sounds on Coming Backwards.

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Ryan Adams –  Baby I love You

A ONE TIME pressing on PINK COLOURED vinyl with backed on the B-Side by “Was I Wrong”.
No, it isn’t a cover of the Ronettes classic of the same name, but it’s “A song to one’s baby, whom they love – a unique twist on Ryan Adams’ classic recipe, with key ingredient ‘sad’ replaced by ‘happy,’” according to the press release.

Graham nash over the years...

Graham Nash – Over the Years

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Graham Nash burst on to the scene during the British Invasion with The Hollies before he formed the legendary supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1968 with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. As Nash prepares to launch a European tour in July, he looks back at some of his best-known recordings from the past 50 years in a new anthology featuring more than a dozen unreleased demos and mixes. Over The Years… features 30 tracks has been painstakingly curated by Nash and longtime associate Joel Bernstein and includes extensive credits and liner notes. The anthology highlights songs from the iconic CSN debut album (Marrakesh Express) and its successor album Déjà Vu, for which Neil Young joined forces with CSN (Our House and Teach Your Children) as well as songs from subsequent CSN albums (Just A Song Before I GoandWasted On The Way). In addition, the collection highlights songs that Nash recorded for his 1971 solo debut, Songs For Beginners, including Military Madness and Simple Man, and includes unreleased mixes for two other songs from that album: Better Daysand I Used To Be King. The most recent recording on the compilation is Myself At Last from Nash’s 2016 solo album This Path Tonight. Two tracks from his enduring albums with David Crosby (Immigration Man and Wind On The Water) are also included in the collection.

2CD – The CD version includes 15 demo recordings, 12 of which have never been released. Standouts include the 1968 London demo of Marrakesh Express, rejected by the Hollies and setting the stage for Nash’s relocation to Los Angeles and the next chapter of his life. The set contains early versions of CSN classics like Our House, Wasted On The Way, Pre-Road Downs, andTeach Your Children. Other unreleased gems include: I Miss You and You’ll Never Be The Same — both from Nash’s 1974 solo album Wild Tales — and Horses Through A Rainstorm, originally intended for Déjà Vu.

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Buffalo Springfield  – What’s That Sound? Complete Albums Collection

Before playing its final show on May 5th, 1968, Buffalo Springfield released three studio albums on ATCO during an intense, two-year creative burst. Those albums – Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around – have been newly remastered from the original analog tapes under the auspices of Neil Young for the new boxed set: What’s That Sound? The Complete Albums Collection. Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin played their first show together as Buffalo Springfield in 1966. The same year, the band recorded and released its self-titled debut, which included the iconic protest song, For What It’s Worth, featuring lyrics as poignant now as they were then, in addition to standouts like Burned, Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, and the band’s first single, Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing. The group spent the first half of 1967 making Buffalo Springfield Again, which was the first album to feature songs written by Furay (A Child’s Claim To Fame.) Stills and Young both contributed some all-time classics with Bluebird and Rock And Roll Woman from Stills, and Mr. Soul and Expecting To Fly from Young. When Last Time Around came out in July 1968, the band members were in the midst of transitioning to new projects: Stills famously joined David Crosby and Graham Nash in CSN; Young went solo; and Furay started Poco with Jim Messina, who produced Last Time Around and played bass on two of the songs. Highlights abound on the album with Young’s I Am A Child, Furay’s Kind Woman and Stills’ Uno Mundo.

5CD – Five CD Box Set, Clamshell with Five Wallets. The 5-CD set includes Buffalo Springfield and Buffalo Springfield Again in mono and stereo, as well as the stereo version of Last Time Around.

5LP – Five LP Box Set. The 5-LP set includes Buffalo Springfield and Buffalo Springfield Again in mono and stereo, as well as the stereo version of Last Time Around.

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Wire  –  Chairs Missing

Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first. These are the definitive re-releases. Each album is presented as an 80-page hardback book – the size of a 7-inch, but obviously much thicker. After a special introduction by Jon Savage, Graham Duff provides insight into each track. These texts include recording details, brand-new interviews with band members, and lyrics.

This stunning set of presentations also includes a range of images from the archive of Annette Green. Wire’s official photographer during this period, Green also shot the covers for Pink Flag and Chairs Missing. Promotional and informal imagery – in colour and black and white – is featured throughout the books. Most of the photographs have not been seen for 40 years – and many have never been published anywhere before.

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With “Pink Flag” Wire tapped happily into punk’s energy and iconoclastic tendencies, “Chairs Missing” is, perhaps, a little truer to their own instincts. They didnt completely shed the past completely; the joyful “Sand In My Joints” and grinding “Mercy” have more than a hint of “Pink Flag” about them, but their 1978 offering is moodier and much more textured than its predecessor, the addition of swathes of electronic sounds moving them firmly into post punk territory, a genre they helped to spawn. There is pure pop beauty on here too, of which “Outdoor Miner”  and “French Film Blurred” being the most gorgeous examples.

Pink Flag was very much Wire’s punk rock album, and while they fully embraced it’s revolutionary spirit, they came at it from their own obtuse angle. unhindered by talent (any kind of prior musical schooling) they gleefully took a baseball bat to Rock’s overblown torso with humour and irreverence, producing classic, unsurpassed razor pop brilliance and a joyful antidote to the pomposity of their forerunners.

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“154”, released in 1979, is perhaps the most overlooked of the first trio of classic Wire L.P.s, before a ten year haitus interrupted only by esoteric solo releases. It develops further on the electronic and experimental direction of “Chairs Missing”, and while guitars are not entirely done away with, keyboards and often unsettling vocal harmonies are the dominant mode of expression here. That’s not to say they abandoned their talent for an exquisite harmony, it is very much still there; just bent a bit. That said it is given undiluted free rein during “Map Ref…”, and elevates the sublime “The 15th” into the realm of the gods.


Golden Smog – Down By The Old Mainstream

Golden Smog, the alternative-country super group from Minneapolis, released this debut album on Rykodisc in 1995 and this is the first time it will be repressed on vinyl since the original release in 2010. The loosely connected, interchangeable group has comprised members from the Jayhawks, Wilco, Soul Asylum, Run Westy Run and Big Star. This new deluxe ROG package will come in a gatefold, old school tip-on Stoughton jacket with printed inner sleeves.

‘Down by the old mainstream’, was recorded in 1994 in only five days. it was made up mostly of original songs written specifically for the project. the songs on the album revealed a fun, spirited sensibility …allowing the band members to let loose from their day jobs. Golden Smog first appeared in 1992 with the release of their ep, On Golden Smog. a side project for members of whose true identities of the band members were veiled by the use of pseudonyms david spear, michael macklyn, raymond virginia, scott summitt, jarret decatur-lane and leonardson saratoga. each name was a deliberate clue that included an actual middle name and part of the address of each band member.

All This Weeks important Releases….

John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once – The Lost Album – Impulse
Guru – Jazzmatazz – UMC (3LP Box set)
Happy Rhodes – Ectorophia – Numero Group
Arp – Zebra – Mexican Summer
Guns ‘N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction – UMC (2LP)
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 – Apollo
Wire – Pink Flag – Pink Flag
Wire – Chairs Missing – Pink Flag
Wire – 154 – Pink Flag
Florence & The Machine – High Hopes – Virgin (Indie Exclusive)
Lena Platonos – Lepidoptera – Dark Entries
The Orb – No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds – Cooking Vinyl (Indie Exclusive)
Eddie Harris – Plug Me In – Get On Down
Various Artists – Disques Debs International – Strut
Ryan Adams – Baby I Love You 7″ – Paxam (Indie Exclusive)

In 1997, Thomas O’Keefe got a call from the management of a rising alt-country band called Whiskeytown, asking if he’d be interested in taking on the job of the group’s tour manager. He was at something of loose ends professionally at the time. And as the bassist for the punk group Antiseen, he’d practically done the job already. So he said yes. But just like a good country song, his tenure – which lasted until the group broke up after a performance in Austin at SXSW in 2000 – was full of drama, erratic personalities, missed opportunities, and no small share of heartbreak along the way.

There were also plenty of musical triumphs, often emanating from Whiskeytown’s singer/guitarist/main songwriter, the incredibly talented but sometimes difficult and troubled Ryan Adams.

O’Keefe has just put down on paper with co-author Joe Oestreich his experiences on the road with the group and Adams in the book Waiting to Derail: Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Alt-Country’s Brilliant Wreck.

“Tour managing Whiskeytown was going to be like chaperoning eighth graders on a class trip to D.C.,” he writes. “Eighth graders who drank and smoked pot.” Whether you called it alt-country, cowpunk, or No Depression, in the ‘90s there was a resurgence of interest in new music with a classic country sound among young listeners. It respected the genre’s traditions, but fused it with a certain youth and contemporary attitude. Bands like Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, Old 97’s, Jason and the Scorchers, and Son Volt were leading the charge.

Whiskeytown spring from one of the music’s geographical centers was the Raleigh-Durham-Chappell Hill area in North Carolina. And Ryan Adams only in his early 20’s, was seen as a real talent. But he did have an ego, and was an enthusiastic intaker of drugs and drinking.

“I had heard of them, but I wasn’t into that kind of music, I liked KISS and Cheap Trick and the Ramones,” O’Keefe says today. “But when I started working and handing out with Ryan, I thought ‘good God, he’s a freak of nature!’ The way he churned out great songs like there was no tomorrow. It’s like he has antennae and he’s just catching songs that are landing in his lap one after another.”

There’s dissection of the Ryan Adams that O’Keefe saw and who for a time lived in his apartment. But also how his personality changed when he slipped into the “character” of Ryan Adams, surely fertile ground for any psychiatrist. And the band admittedly lost a lot of mojo in doing what O’Keefe refers to as just a lot of “dicking around.”

But while Adams was clearly the leader, O’Keefe also had to work with other members of the group – some who rotated in and out, but always with violinist/singer Caitlin Cary. Her sizable contributions to the band are sometimes overlooked. O’Keefe’s tenure with the band coincided before, during, and after the release of their amazing second album, Strangers Almanac, which many predicted would shoot them into the big leagues.

Interestingly, O’Keefe makes a lot of comparisons between Whiskeytown and alt rockers the Replacements, and indeed there are plenty of similarities between the groups, none more so than in the tendency to self-sabotage. Adams (like the ‘Mats Paul Westerberg) would routinely show up to concerts drunk, deliver half-assed, short shows, blow important gigs and media interviews, and alienate and criticize their own audiences who had come to see them.

“With both bands, from night to night there was no consistency. One day, the show would be the most half-baked, clock-in and clock-out bullshit. And then the next night the show would be so magical, it would renew your faith in rock and roll and humanity,” O’Keefe says.

“And then there would be a show with a lot of punk rock antics and behavior. I loved it, because that’s where I came from. But then as tour manager, I would have to go and clean up the mess and try and collect money from a club owner who would be really pissed and ready to kill me. But the head of the snake leads the snake around, and the show was whatever Ryan wanted to make of it.”

While O’Keefe was often frustrated with Adams, he has no such ill feelings about the young musician’s inherent, scarily good talent. He describes a dismal show that has him down, but when Adams returns to the stage solo with an acoustic guitar to serenade the remaining crowd with his song “Avenues,” he and the audience are mesmerized by the power of the material and the performer.

Whiskeytown was tapped for a possible career-making slot opening an outdoor shed tour for John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. But it was clear that the classic rock audience had little interest in Whiskeytown’s hopped up tear-in-my-beer music, simply waiting to hear the CCR classics. Instead of being inspired to the challenge, Adams would openly return the disdain during the band’s performances.

Waiting to Derail (its title taken from a Whiskeytown song) also details the many times O’Keefe would be dispatched to locate Adams or another band member who had not shown up for a hotel lobby call or show, negotiate inter-band squabbles and outer-band romantic relationships, and hide the drugs.

In one incident, the only thing that seemingly saved a complete narcotics bust of the tour bus on the U.S./Canadian border was when band members struck up a conversation with a border agent about their mutual love for the novels of John Steinbeck.

In writing and researching the book, O’Keefe had interviews and reminiscing conversations with all of Whiskeytown’s band members (save a reluctant Adams), record company execs, managers, and crew. But what surprised him was just how little all actually remembered about the touring, so the book is about “95%” of what it would be had he just relied on himself.

Despite having Ryan Adams at a groomsman in his own wedding, O’Keefe has had little contact with the musician since Whiskeytown’s demise. Adams himself has gone on to considerable success both as a solo act and with his backing group the Cardinals. Adams declined to speak with O’Keefe for his book, but the musician  who has since cleaned up his act and admitted past transgressions is aware of it.

In the years after his tenure with Whiskeytown, O’Keefe has continued his career as a tour manager with acts like Train (“One of the hardest working band in the music business”), Mandy Moore, and Third Eye Blind. His current job is as the veteran tour manager for Weezer.

Ryan Adams has raised the hopes of the vast majority of his fan base, by teasing the release of a number of past projects, including his famously unreleased album, Blackhole.

Just a week after Ryan Adams tried his hand at reporting the weather thanks to a US television station, the musician took to Twitter today to test the waters in regards to the release of some of his long-awaited projects.

“I wrote this album. I have 17 new songs,” Adams wrote on Twitter, alongside an image of his debut solo album, Heartbreaker. “I have 4 records on a shelf. Does anyone want to hear Prisoner 2 & 3, Black Hole? Live at Capitol Theater w The Infamous Stringdusters, Exile on Main Street cover live & rehearsals ?”

He continued: “I’m just asking to see if maybe I’m crazy & no one does.” The two live albums he mentioned in the message referred to a show recorded in Port Chester, New York in July 2016 with The Infamous Stringdusters, and his Rolling Stones tribute from New Orleans Jazz Fest last month respectively.

“I’m just asking to see if maybe I’m crazy & no one does.”

This is a lot of unreleased material, but let’s start taking a look at what’s on offer.

As it stands, Ryan Adams’ last album, Prisoner, was released in 2017, becoming his most successful record to date, . While a new album would already be brilliant, a sequel (or two) to the record would definitely be well received by his fans. However, it’s not quite clear whether his “17 new songs” constitute what he calls to be Prisoner 2 & 3 or if is a totally different project altogether.

One of the live projects mentioned by Adams is his performance at The Capitol Theater with The Infamous Stringdusters back in 2016. This performance is rather famous among his fans for the hugely collaborative nature of the performance, in addition to featuring covers of Slayer’s ‘South Of Heaven’ and Black Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard’.

Likewise, the most recent of these live records is that of Adams’ recent Exile On Main Street concert, which saw him cover The Rolling Stones’ legendary album (almost) in full just last month.

In March, Adams said he had 11 new tracks recorded from sessions in his Pax-Am Studios. “Records are funny creatures sometimes,” he tweeted. “They wake you up like they can’t wait to just get born.”

Featuring the likes of Todd Wisenbaker on guitar, Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers on percussion, Medeski Martin & Wood’s John Medeski on piano, and Don Was on bass duties, a professionally recorded version of this gig (and its rehearsal) would indeed be a massive addition to any record collection.

However, the most important of these potentially-forthcoming albums has to be that of Blackhole, an album supposedly recorded sometime last decade during the final stages of Adams’ severe drug addiction.

“There’s two versions of that record,” Adams explained in 2014 while considering releasing the album for Record Store Day. “There’s one where the vocals and the performances are really fucked-up.”

“Then there’s a second version, which was the last thing I did when I was still messed up. Bits and pieces of that had to be stitched together to make the final product like a patchwork quilt, because some of its vocal takes are too fucked-up to release. But it’s really cool and the end result made me very happy.”

While the record was never released for Record Store Day 2015, Adams stated that he was still unsure as to how he should release the record, and which version should see the light of day. We might not know what sort of plans he up his sleeve for this legendary unheard record, but we’d be keen to receive in any way he wishes to give it to us.

At this stage, it seems fans are pretty keen to hear all these unreleased projects, so hold tight, because you might have a lot of Ryan Adams coming your way soon!

Ryan Adams  was in New Orleans on Saturday to worship The Rolling Stones with the one-off “Exile on Bourbon St.” concert, a full-album tribute to the Stones’ 1972 landmark album “Exile on Main Street”.

Ryan Adams was joined at the Saenger Theatre by a group of New Orleans musicians including Cyril Neville on percussion, John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood on keys and Terence Higgins of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on drums. Erstwhile Stones producer Don Was served as musical director and played bass. All 18 Exile On Main Street songs were on the set list, as was “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (which, of course, was actually on 1971’s Sticky Fingers). La Sera’s Todd Wisenbaker, who worked with Adams on his 1989 covers album, contributed guitar and backing vocals.

The performance featured some long jams on the songs Keith Richards probably would hate, and other moments of artistic license, like the honky-tonky swing of “Sweet Virginia” subbed out for a more ponderous alt-rock feel.

Adams did treat fans to a couple of extra tunes in the encore, including ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ from 1971’s Sticky Fingers, and ‘The Worst’, from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge.

Exile On Main St. was released back in May of 1972 after being recording the previous year while The Rolling Stones were living in France as tax exiles. Touching on a wide variety of topics and themes while utilising a number of musical styles, the album has often been considered by many music critics as one of the group’s finest works, and one of the greatest albums of all time.

Earlier in the week, Adams tweeted a photo of his telecaster and some crib notes for the 18 songs that would make up the show, writing. “The hardest Rolling Stones songs to learn are weirdly the ones with the least chord changes.”

Some of the songs were performed faithfully, though others were given a new tempo or some extra jangle. “Sweet Virginia,” for one, was slowed way down and played more as a ballad than a country stomper. Watch the band perform that one, plus “Tumbling Dice” and a nine-minute version of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”

The iconic singer-songwriter Ryan Adams headlined his Exile on Bourbon St. an incredible group of musicians performed one of the greatest albums in music history, Exile on Main St., in its entirety. “I’ve listened to all the multi-track tapes from the EXILE period and it’s not hyperbolic to say that this is probably the greatest rock ‘n roll ever recorded! I can’t wait to dig deep into these songs with The Mighty Ryan Adams and this incredible group of musicians,” says Don Was,

exile on bourbon st

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Ryan Adams is celebrating the occasion with a new love song appropriately called ‘Baby, I Love You’. Adams’ press release describes the tune as “a song to one’s baby, whom they love—a unique twist on Ryan Adams’ classic recipe, with key ingredient ‘sad’ replaced by ‘happy’”.

On top of the new song, the singer-songwriter has also announced a huge show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 14th, Early last year, Adams released his latest album Prisoner. The Prisoner singer has been embroiled in a long-term feud with The Strokes, which saw Adams once again took to Twitter last July, writing: “Abert Hammond is a more horrible songwriter than his dad. If that’s possible. It rains in Sthtrn CA & washes out the dirt As you were RA x”

He swiftly followed that up with a dig at Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, tweeting “Julian Casablancas: who got you strung out on lasagna tho?”

Adams continued: “I should have got them addicted to writing better songs. Too bad The Killers did it for them”.

The spat came after it was claimed by The Strokes that Adams was in some way responsible for Albert Hammond Jr.’s past heroin addiction.

The comments came in a new book by Lizzy Goodman called Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, 2001–2011, which details the rise of 2000s NYC indie bands such as The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol and Vampire Weekend.

ryan adams Top 50 Albums of 2017

Ryan Adams drew from some potentially surprising sources while dreaming up the musical landscape for his next solo LP.  The new record, released in November, has evolved beyond Adams’ initial description of an album inspired by the “sonic geography” of classic releases from Bruce Springsteen and the Smiths. In its place stands a set of songs whose recordings absorbed the strains of different artists on Adams’ iPod playlist.
“When I run, I listen to [an iPod] Nano that I have. I put all the AC/DC records on from back to front, or I’ll listen to the best of stuff from the ’80s: Springsteen, or [Bruce] Hornsby, and I’ll listen to what is going on there. I was listening to AC/DC’s Fly on the Wall,” he recalled, “and that’s when I realized what I had to do for the record.”
But if AC/DC inspired a new direction for the album, fans probably shouldn’t expect to hear that band’s stomping, monolithic crunch. In fact, it sounds like there’s a lot more going on in terms of production — including more intricate guitar arrangements inspired by ELO and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. “I was like, ‘Wow! I understand the multicolored guitar tone moments now. You can layer stuff. I really just learned a lot.””

Fueled by the maddening depression that comes from divorce, Ryan Adams did what he does best: He wrote about it. For 12 tracks, the shaggy singer-songwriter wrestles with his worst demons, reeking of pathos and abandon.

Not since Heartbreaker has Ryan Adams sounded this earnest. Every track beams with the kind of fragility you’d want from a denim lothario like Adams, but instead of wallowing in grief, these songs attempt to resolve it. They do.
To help him achieve all this, Adams turned to Grammy-winning producer Don Was, who he referred to in the interview as “Gandalf” and credited with helping him winnow down the “quite literally 80″ songs he had written for the record. Adams described the end result as an album that asks some “cool, big questions” without getting unwieldy.

“I think the challenge for me — the Everest peak, for me — is to tell this story in 11 songs, to tell this part of my life in 11 songs,” he added. “How do I make a real distinct record where anybody listens to it and says, ‘That’s the truth from beginning to end.’ So it’s like exercise. It sucks in the beginning. But then you get into it.”

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Essential Tracks: “Doomsday”, “Anything I Say to You”, “To Be Without You”, and “Outbound Train”

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Image result for RYAN ADAMS - " Suicide Handbook

Following the success of Gold, in 2002 Ryan Adams was blocked by his label from releasing his choice for a follow-up. This would be the second time this happened, the first being with Gold; Adams had recorded “The Suicide Handbook” which was rejected on the grounds that it was “too sad”. Ryan has stated that The Suicide Handbook was made for Lost Highway as the follow-up to “Heartbreaker” and called it his “most majestic piece ever.


“Suicide Handbook” Ryan Adams  The Unofficial Unreleased CDr “Wildflowers” 4:30 “Perfect And True” 3:07 “Tell It To My Heart” 3:18 “She Wants To Play Hearts” 4:01 “Pretenders” 2:56 “Famous Eyes” 2:16 “Touch, Feel & Lose” 3:42 “Firecracker” 2:59 “La Cienega Just Smiled” 3:20 “You Don’t Know Me” 4:12 “Bow To The Sad Lady” 3:42 “Off Broadway” 3:39 “Cracks In A Photograph” 3:57 “I’m Waiting” 3:04 “Cry On Demand” 4:24 “Miss Sunflower” 4:38 “Just Saying Hi (Answering Bell)” 3:13 “California Love” 2:27 “Idiots Rule The World” 3:30 “Dear Chicago” 2:13 Ships from the UK

The Suicide Handbook is an unplugged collection of 21 acoustic songs, that Ryan wrote following his ill-fated breakup with an unnamed Hollywood actress. Recorded in January of 2001, and just months prior to the sessions for Gold, these songs have a similar feel to those of Bruce Springsteen’s classic album Nebraska. Joined only by band mate – Bucky Baxter, who plays some excellent pedal steel, guitar and occasional background vocals, this album is Ryan Adams at his most stripped down.
Nearly half of the songs on The Suicide Handbook have gone on to be re-recorded for other albums; sometimes with different lyrics, or slightly different arrangements; other times with a faster tempo or doctored up with more reverb. “Answering Bell”, “Firecracker”, “La Cienega Just Smiled”, “Mara Lisa”, “Wild Flowers”, and “Touch, Feel, and Lose” would all go on to be highlights on Gold. While “Dear Chicago”, “She Wants to Play Hearts”, and “Cry on Demand” would be left almost untouched, and released the following year on a collection called Demolition.

Image result for RYAN ADAMS - " Suicide Handbook

Over the past ten years, there have been a number of rumors and tentative plans, made by Ryan Adams and Lost Highway Records; that The Suicide Handbook would be officially released. Originally, the record was going to come out as part of a 4-6 disc collection called 20:20; and feature a treasure trove of previously unreleased material, including several finished albums. Unfortunately these recordings have yet to surface, but there is some good news! Recently, after leaving Lost Highway Records, Ryan retained the rights to release these recordings on his own. His new plan is to release this someday as a single album. Since being recorded in 2001, Ryan has gone back and properly mixed and mastered the album, with full band accompaniment (including drums by Brad Pemberton of The Cardinals, and a 16 piece string section with parts arranged by Ryan). He has also stated that there are several songs on the final version which do not appear on this bootleg recording.

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