Ryan Adams to Rock the Les Schwab Amphitheater 5/23!
Written by Little Squigg on May 20, 2015
Alt-country star Ryan Adams will be coming to the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend on May 23. He will also be headlining the Sasquatch Music Festival that weekend. Please check out my special episode of The Dreamers Guild devoted entirely to Ryan Adams!
“Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer-songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse.” -Spotify
The first time I ever heard Heartbreaker, I was making my way down a long stretch of California highway, both running away from and running toward something that was yet undefined but mythic in scope. I felt a kinship with this man and his lamentations of lost love, and an odd nostalgia for a country life I had never known: the simple joys of holding a loved one by the crackle and glow of a fire, or sipping out of a mason jar on the back porch on a summer evening. Heartbreaker has been called “an album of astonishing musical proficiency, complete honesty and severe beauty” (Pitchfork Media). Songs like “Come Pick Me Up,” “My Winding Wheel,” and “Amy” mark the high points of an album in which raw emotional potency and truth-telling triumph.
Adams was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina. His father left the family when he was five and Adams was raised by his grandparents, who introduced him to music and storytelling. Adams developed an early love for poetry and cult fiction by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Jack Kerouac, and was writing his own stories by the age of eight. He grew up listening to music by country greats like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash. Adams discovered punk music in his teens, picked up an electric guitar and started writing his own songs. He dropped out of high school, moved in with a friend, and formed “an arty noise punk band” called The Patty Duke Syndrome. This would serve as a reference point for his later musical ventures.
Adams made the jump from punk when he founded Whiskeytown in 1994. The band released three albums and were blazing new trails in the alt-country scene when they sadly imploded. Adams used this as an opportunity to launch a prolific solo career. He released fourteen albums over the next fourteen years, beginning with Heartbreaker in 2000. His follow-up Gold received three Grammy nominations and went Gold in the U.K.
Adams was set for alt-country stardom. He signed on with Lost Highway, an offspring of Universal Music Group. But he had trouble conforming to the commercial demands of his label. He also faced personal challenges, including the development of an inner ear condition called Meniere’s Disease. After struggling for several years, Adams fulfilled his contract with Lost Highway and began producing music exclusively through his own label, PAX AM, which has granted him the creative freedom and authenticity he longed for. Adams released his fourteenth full length self-titled album last fall and embarked on the PAX AM Single Series, releasing a new single each month. He recently received a Grammy nod for Best Rock Song.
Building on a career spanning over two decades, Adams continues to mature into his artistic voice and identity. I truly believe that his best is yet to come.
For more information about Ryan Adams and PAX AM: http://paxamrecords.com