Ryan Adams will release his still-untitled next album on Nov. 4, and from the sound of things this seems to be the project he was working on back in February when he claimed to have recorded more than 80 songs. Studio svengali Don Was is back behind the board in what Ryan calls his “Gandalf” mode. And in Entertainment Weekly’s announcement interview about it, Ryan goes into excitable-boy mode and mentions the following sonic reference points:
Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town
The Smiths, Meat Is Murder
AC/DC, Fly on the Wall
Electric Light Orchestra
I have no idea what a combination of all that might sound like, but I guess we’ll find out! Below is a live version of a new song Ryan debuted at Red Rocks recently, “Do You Still Love Me.” If the rest of the record is anything like this, well, I would not call that a good omen.
ADDENDUM (10/11/2016): Timeline for this album, titled Prisoner.
Raleigh music impressario Dave Rose has never worked with Ryan Adams, but he did have an interesting indirect brush with Whiskeytown greatness way back in 1995. Rose was recording that summer with his band 9811 at the Funny Farm in Apex — the same studio where Whiskeytown was making Faithless Street (Chapter five in “Losering”). And as Rose recounts in his book “Everything I Know About The Music Business I Learned From My Cousin Rick,” studio owner/engineer Greg Woods would start most 9811 sessions by making Rose listen to what he’d been working on with Whiskeytown the night before. Eventually, Rose figured something out:
I should have realized exactly what was going on here. Greg wasn’t playing my songs for Ryan Adams when he came in to record. No. Greg was playing Ryan’s songs for me…Knowing now what I didn’t know then, I should have realized: Okay, Ryan Adams = Brilliant. Dave Rose = Eh, not so much.
Still, Rose has done well for himself over the years, managing acts including Allison Moorer (who wrote the Foreword for “Cousin Rick”), Bruce Hornsby and Little Feat through his Raleigh-based company Deep South Entertainment. His book is a solid music-business primer that repeatedly makes the point that the music must come first and if it’s good enough, the business part will take care of itself. That’s a lesson I wish more musicians would heed.
You’ll find plenty more about Rose’s book in this Q&A interview I did with him in 2013. And here is a 2017 feature about Dave, too.
Tags: 9811, Allison Moorer, Bruce Hornsby, Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment, Faithless Street, Funny Farm, Greg Woods, Little Feat, Losering, Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown