• Adams' sources run deep--from Paul Westerberg to Hank Williams--and he has the raspy, quavering voice and innate tunefulness to be worthy of them.

    — Rolling Stone
  • Best Solo Artist of 2003.

    — Spin Reader's Poll
Hometown: 
Raleigh, NC

Former singer/guitarist/songwriter for critical darlings Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams really hit his stride with his debut solo recordings on Bloodshot. People tripped over themselves in descriptive reveries. The next Dylan, the next Westerberg, the next Springsteen, the next flame out and die before his time rock star tragedy. Can we stop it already? Let's let him be Ryan, which is damn well good enough, all right?

Heart on his sleeve, punk spirit, closet folkie, can write lyrics that beat anything else you might be listening to on the hit parade this or any other day. He's got all the goods. We've got him with just his songs, some bad-ass backing musicians, and the guts he pours into his lyrics--it's all here in its ragged glory. Yeah, He's been on Saturday Night Live, the sides of buses in GAP ads, and shared the stage with Sheryl Crow, Elton John AND the Rolling Stones, recorded with Willie Nelson and America, and been nominated for Grammys. He's been blacklisted and backlashed and had lots of dumb stuff in the papers and blogs written about him. All those garish trappings of pop stardom, and we STILL love him.

Why? Because we know what a pussycat he really is and, when you strip away all the public personae sideshows, we remember him for the wide-eyed music super fan who just wanted to make more (and more) music, and whose ear for a hook and a single crushing lyric image is nigh unsurpassed. We think he delivers on this passion in spades.

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
Paul Westerberg
Bob Dylan
Damian Rice
Ray LaMontagne
Gillian Welch
Dawes

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