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Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire

October 11, 2011

I have been waiting for a Ryan Adams album like this for a long time.  Just listened to it about three times and it is wonderful.

I first fell for Ryan Adams when I picked up Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac (1997).  I bought Strangers Almanac when it first came out because it was cheap and I liked the cover.  I put it on and fell hard for it.  I bet I listened to it a 100 times over the next few months. Whiskeytown seemed to be an invisible band – no more releases – apparently broken up – very little information.

Then I found out the engaging voice of Whiskeytown was Ryan Adams and he had a new solo album Heartbreaker (2000)- and wow that was even better that Strangers Almanac.  Then came Gold (2001) which is on my top ten albums of all time.

I saw Ryan Adams on tour to support Gold and wow was he an amazing performer.  Then came the dark years – questionable live performances (fortunately I never saw one) and mediocre solo albums that came at a speed that was too hard to digest.

Some hope when he formed the Cardinals, but nothing quite hit me with the grandeur of those first 3 albums I fell in love with.  Until now – this may be in the same league.  Not sure why – sobriety, a great producer in Glyn Johns, great musicians supporting (Benmont Tench and Norah Jones) – who knows, but it I am happy to have this new CD in my hands.

This is classic singer songwriter stuff with a wonderful 70s vibe.  Wonderfully recorded and subtle, but powerful arrangements.  So turn the lights down low and make sure there are no distractions and listen to this through.  Very mellow, but not boring.  Looking forward to seeing the live show December 13 at the State Theater (Minneapolis).

For more on Ryan Adams see is very cool new site.

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From → Music Reviews

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