WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER/For 21st Century Media
Well before Ryan Adams released his self-titled new album in September, he was already on the road supporting it heavily. He followed up the record’s first single, “Gimme Something Good,” on July 1 and watched it go to the top spot on the Amazon.com music store. By the end of the month, he was headlining both the Newport Folk Festival and then the XPoNential Music Festival in Camden NJ; not a bad way to start promotions for his 14th solo album since leaving alternative-country favorites Whiskeytown in 2000.
Fourteen records in 14 years seems like quite a bit, but Adams’ catalog is even more staggering, as this most recent release, which he’ll be supporting at the Tower Theatre next Wednesday, Nov. 19, is actually representative of a slow period for the singer/songwriter. For reference, feel free to check out an exceptionally prolific period in 2005 when he released three full length albums.
Following a period in early 2009 where it was widely reported Adams was quitting music, he quickly returned with a metal album, an LP of prerecorded material with his former backing band The Cardinals and the acclaimed, stripped down Ashes & Fire in 2011.
Ryan Adams is first to be released on the combined Pax Am/Blue Note imprint and was produced by Adams at his own Pax Am Studios in Los Angeles. The record was initially supposed to be a stripped down affair with noted producer Glyn Johns, whose resume includes Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and The Who, and in fact an entire album was in the can when Adams decided to scrap it completely. He’s claimed in numerous interviews since that he wanted something more reflective of his influences like The Velvet Underground and The Smiths.
At this point, with the finished album landing at number four on Billboard, making it his highest ever chart debut, it’s probably safe to say that Adams can be trusted making those sorts of decisions.
IF YOU GO
What: Ryan Adams in concert. Butch Walker is the opener.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 19
Where: The Tower Theatre, 69th and Ludlow in Upper Darby.
Info: Call (610) 352-2887 or visit www.ticketmaster.com