Unless you’ve done time in the military or driven to the beach from the Raleigh vicinity, chances are good you’ve never been anywhere near Ryan Adams’ birthplace of Jacksonville, North Carolina. And while Greater Jacksonville is not without its charms, it still seems like the sort of town most people want to flee at the earliest opportunity. That was certainly the case for Ryan, who (as recounted in the “Before” segment of “Losering”) ran away to Raleigh the first chance he got.
So if you’re wondering what Jacksonville looks like, Bob Fenster and friends at the Facebook group Theme Music have put together a nice little video tour. They’ve covered “Inn Town,” kickoff track to the signpost Whiskeytown album Strangers Almanac, accompanied by visuals taken from some YouTube videos shot in Jacksonville. Check it out here.
The combination of the landscape shots of scenery (and lack thereof) with “Inn Town”‘s forlorn vibe nails Jacksonville’s transitory facelessness perfectly; it’s a place nobody goes to, just passes through. And the final minute, shot from a car traversing the Highway 24 main drag, evokes pretty much exactly what it feels like to drive through there and wonder about the individual stories behind the desolate storefronts.
Back before I crossed paths with Ryan, I remember passing through Jacksonville and asking myself: Who lives here?…