Ashes and Fire

LIVE MUSIC: RYAN ADAMS @ The Strathmore - 1/24/1

Ladies swoon, and dudes shout “DUDE”; it’s all par for the course when Ryan Adams comes to town. Performing to a sold out crowd, Adams visited the Strathmore in Bethesda, MD last week, and for the most part it was business as usual. Delivering a show full of all the heartbreaking ballads, nervous tics and the the recurring feeling that you’re seeing one talented son-of-a-bitch pour his heart out right in front of you Adams set generally satisfied even if it rarely rose to the Olympian heights that the adoring crowd might have showed up expecting

Perched on a spartan (but gorgeous) stage with nothing but a guitar, a piano and a few microphones, Adams crooned and caroused his way into the hearts of  his assembled fans by simply giving them what they want. Yes, this time out for Adams it was a “greatest hits” tour to be sure, a concept that may tend to leave some concertgoers (read: me) with the unpleasant taste of “cashing-in” in their mouths. Luckily though, Adams has proven to be a savvy (and fussy) enough performer to never simply stick to the plan. In fact on this night he even wrote a song about his plan (you can listen to it here), and for the most part it was moments like these that made the evening what it was.


Review: Ashes and Fire - Ryan Adams

Ashes and Fire is Ryan Adams 12th album in only 11 years as a “solo” artist. Known for being one of the greatest, if not most troubled, song writers of this 21st century, Adams has been at the forefront of country-rock/alt-country for the entirety of his career, and as such any release that bears his name is subject to as much hype as it is critical analysis.

Adams struck gold on his 2000 release Heartbreaker. His collaboration with David Rawlings and Gillian Welch on his first solo record, and first post-Whiskeytown record, hit that sweet spot of sentimentality and rabble rousing that makes the difference between good country rock and just great damn music. The bar that he set for himself with that record was impossibly high. And while he was amazingly prolific in the years that followed (releasing the albums Gold in 2001, Demolition in 2002, Rock N Roll  in 2003, and Love Is Hell in 2004) it wouldn’t be until 2005’s Cold Roses that Adams would reach those lofty heights that he decended from.


Daily Listen: Stream Ryan Adam's "Ashes and Fire" at NPR right now!!

So, we had this whole Monday thing planned that would have completely blown everyone's mind. It was truly the biggest and best thing we've ever done...or might EVER have been done on the internet. You just don't know.

Anyways, thing, huge, yadda yadda. NPR must have got wind and said "hold it right their puny website" because last night they went and made Ryan Adam's new album Ashes and Fire available for you to stream in it's entirety.

So while we go back to the drawing board for our gihugic thing, you go and listen to your one-of-the-best-songwriters-of-all-time Ryan Adams. It's OK. Really. We'll be here when you get back.

 

Stream Ryan Adam's Ashes and Fire over at NPR RIGHT NOW!!!



Daily Listen: Ryan Adams - "Ashes and Fire"

Not so long ago it seemed that Ryan Adams was to retire..or something. It was a damn shame because though his output can be uneven, he's one of the best song writers living today. Well soon after his announcement there came Orion, a death metal space odyssey (seriously) and not long after that came III/IV a double album of not necessarily new material from The Cardinals, but one that we hadn't heard at any rate. But supposedly, Adams was still retired.

Well all that is over now and his album Ashes and Fire is done and set to be unleashed upon the world. By all accounts, it looks to be a return to Adams more acoustic side, which is fine by us. Some of his best moments as a songwriter came in Cold Roses quieter cousin Jacksonville City Nights, and anything that even approaches the sublime greatness of that record is probably going to work out just fine for Mr. Adams.

You're going to have to wait till October 10th to see how the whole thing works out, but this video of Adams performing the title track hints that the wait will be well worth it.  Fingers crossed everyone.

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