09-02 Ryan Adams streams new album
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Born in Jacksonville, NC in 1974, in his early years Ryan Adams was heavily influenced by country legends including the likes of JohnnyCash, Merle Haggard and George Jones, and jam band Grateful Dead. As he entered his youth, he developed a seemingly misplacedfondness for hardcore punks Husker Du and British mopesters the Smiths, and a fascination with garage rock in general took hold. While hismusical influences seemed to be all over the map, the one constant was musical legend and cult figure Gram Parsons, considered in manycircles to be the unquestioned "father of country-rock". Gathering ...read more
Born in Jacksonville, NC in 1974, in his early years Ryan Adams was heavily influenced by country legends including the likes of JohnnyCash, Merle Haggard and George Jones, and jam band Grateful Dead. As he entered his youth, he developed a seemingly misplacedfondness for hardcore punks Husker Du and British mopesters the Smiths, and a fascination with garage rock in general took hold. While hismusical influences seemed to be all over the map, the one constant was musical legend and cult figure Gram Parsons, considered in manycircles to be the unquestioned "father of country-rock". Gathering his diverse interests with Parsons as the anchor, Adams formed a handfulof garage rock bands in his youth (including the Patty Duke Syndrome, who gained a respectable following in his hometown) before finallysettling on the "alternative country" sound with the formation of Whiskeytown in 1994, at the age of 20. While Whiskeytown was reasonablesuccessful both commercially and critically, personal drama plauged the musicians and Whiskeytown underwent several lineup changesbefore the group finally imploded in 1999.
With the release of his debut album Heartbreaker in 2000, Adams toned down the outright country sound of his work with Whiskeytownbut still fit comfortable within the alternative country genre - in fact, he was considered the poster boy for the movement. Heartbreakerflawlessly combined country with rock, alternative, and singer/songwriter stylings.
In 2001, Ryan Adams unexpectedly shot to Adult Alternative stardom with the release of Gold on September 11, and the album whichfeatured an American flag on the cover (albeit an unpatriotic reversed flag) and a morbidly convenient lead single 'New York, New York'made Adams an uncomfortable heroic figure for a suffering nation. Despite his unease with being coveted by soccer moms, the popularitybrought much deserved attention not only to his first two albums but his potential for brilliance in the future. A demo album was released in2002 to keep the eager crowd satiated before his next release.
One to disappoint, Adams took a radical shift in 2003 by releasing the uninspired garage rock album lRock n Roll. Though the albumwas meant to be a true homage to his rockier idols and some respected contemporaries (with song titles alluding to Pink Floyd, the Beatlesand the Strokes), it flopped. Adams' reputation was salvaged only by the fact that he released 2 EPs to coincide with Rock n Roll'srelease. Titled Love is Hell (Parts 1 and 2), the EPs gained such praise among fans and critics that they were combined and releasedas a proper album in 2004, as Adams had originally intended.
Already a prolific artist, with 5 albums released in 4 years, Adams decided to up the ante by releasing an astounding 3 records in 2005,including one double album. In fact, between the first and last release lay only 7 months. For the first two of the releases, Adams recruited atalented backing band (the Cardinals). Cold Roses was received very well by fans and critics, and Jacksonville City Nights'reception was perhaps more muted but noticeable nonetheless. By the time 29 was released in late December a sizeable portion of hisfollowing felt that it was an unnecessary coda to a decent year - not bad, but not worth having released. Still, Adams has proved that even inhis most prolific times he can keep the quality steady and has displayed a keen love for work, recording, and sharing his music with theworld.
Don't think of Ryan Adams as a wholly benevolent man, however. He is known to be a cocky, self-righteous media figure, storming out ofinterviews and off stages on a whim. He also has displayed issues with both drugs and alcohol in the past (in a nonsensical 2003 websitepost he famously praised the virtues of Moroccan hash); he gets into celebrity feuds (he is reputed to have called Jack White a "little girl");he dates around New York and Los Angeles (beddings include Parkey Posey and Winona Ryder); he is friends with Elton John and countsLiam Gallagher among his biggest fans. And he hates Bryan Adams. But for all his celebrity misgivings and loud mouth rabblings - themusic speaks for itself. « hide
Similar Bands: Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, A.A. Bondy, Whiskeytown
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