My friend Colleen can’t stand Willie Nelson which may be why her husband Jens loves him so much. I’ve always admired him but the records of his that I’ve got out from the library have always disappointed.
Then I heard a track of his on the Phil Jupitus breakfast show which had me instantly searching for it on ebay. Turns out to be an album called Songbird (2006) a collection of covers thats produced by Ryan Adams with his band ‘The Cardinals’ as Willies backing band. The title track (a Fleetwood Mac song) is just to die for!
Why does it take a young upstart to get involved with such legends before the masses (like myself) take note? Perhaps us indie kids need something to get us past the established image in order to actually listen?
Uncut championed Ryan Adams first solo LP Heartbreaker in 2000. I got it on their recommendation and it became an instant favourite amongst the Leeds gang. I dont usually buy what mags tell you (they invariably disappoint) however, the opening track had been on the free Uncut CD for that month. In the intro to Winding Wheel theres an argument about which Mozzer LP Suedehead had come from and that swayed me.
Come Pick Me Up must rank amongst the best break up records ever committed to vinyl steal all my records, screw all my friends I was impressed enough to get the Strangers Almanac LP (1997) by his band Whiskeytown which contains the wonderful Everything I DoNOT the same song as (Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams
His next solo LP Gold (2001) sounded quite different commercial and familiar from the first play. New York, New York and Firecracker are breezy wondrous slices of pop the sound of an artist breaking into his stride. Our pal Morgan could belt out a mean version of Rescue Blues at the time. Its since been slagged off for being MOR/revisionist/unoriginal – but I still stand by it I dare you not to like it!
2001 also saw the last Whiskeytown LP Pneumonia a strangely subdued LP and not a patch on their other stuff..maybe its a grower and I havent given it time.however since writing this Ive listened to it another few times and it hasnt grown yet..
Demolition (2002) was an album of 10 quick demos with the raucous Nuclear and bitchy Cry On Demand that showed expensive production wasnt needed. Hes a prolific songwriter, releasing one or two albums a year since (in fact there were 3 of them in 2003) with tons of tracks on each. He also has a reputation for the varying quality of his live appearances, but as I havent seen him live I cant comment on that one.
Rubin and Cash, White and Lynn, Adams and Nelsonyou know it makes sense!
Bob The Chiropodist 2006