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?…
Tags: Bob Fenster, David Menconi, Facebook, Inn Town, Jacksonville, Losering, Ryan Adams, Strangers Almanac, Theme Music, Whiskeytown, youtube
Here’s one from the Days Of Miracle And Wonder file — Bob Fenster and friends covering Ryan Adams’ signature Heartbreaker song “Come Pick Me Up,” and beaming in their contributions from literally all over. Two of the players here, lead vocalist Fenster and pianist Gary Maher, are in two different towns in New Jersey; the rhythm section of drummer Steven Young and bassist Kyle Richards is in Michigan (also in separate towns); guitarist/banjoist Scott Roberts is in Atlanta; Jeff Jensen on harmonica is in Washington, D.C.; and backup singer Annie Graham is in Ireland. Check it out.
This is from a Facebook group called Theme Music, where people record and post songs according to a theme declared by ringleader Matt Brown (whose old band Uncle Green I remember seeing at the Brewery way back in the early 1990s). This sort of trans-geographic collaboration goes on all the time; I just thought this one was particularly cool, and a very nice version of one of my favorites from the Ryan songbook.
While I’m at it, here is what Bob calls his magnum opus, a way-cool version of “Born To Run” with contributions from 38 people across the country.
Tags: Bob Fenster, Born To Run, Brewery, Bruce Springsteen, Come Pick Me Up, Facebook, Heartbreaker, Losering, Matt Brown, Ryan Adams, Theme Music, Uncle Green, Whiskeytown