Ryan Adams is the lead singer and guitarist for Whiskeytown, a twangy alt country band, but after this taste of solo success, Whiskeytown may have seen its day.
As with most solo albums, Heartbreaker is a real departure, different from anything that Whiskeytown ever did. Leaving off the rockin' edge, Adams embraces the blues while still retaining his southern country influence. He brings in that all-embracing melancholy that causes me to push that repeat button.
One of the most beautiful songs on the album -- and in my weaker and more hyperbolic moments I have said, most beautiful songs ever -- is "In My Time of Need." It is a haunting story of a farming family's prayer for rain. The element of water threads its way all through the album (in "Damn Sam (I love a woman that rains)" and "Don't Ask For the Water") -- water as life giving and as feeling. But with "In My Time of Need" water also as community: "It ain't like it was back in those days/When everyone would offer up a hand/Will you comfort me in my time of need?" What is most striking to me is that the song's meaning is deeper and more encompassing than the farm and the land. It is a plea for community in a time lacking just that and is filled with the melancholy we all feel as self-obsessed, self-proclaimed individuals. In this way, Adams takes these beautiful songs and sentiments -- and often, misguided sadness -- and hits the heart. And with me, hits the top
With its telltale screech and distant grumble, it is suddenly there. An endless stream of cars, perfect long boxes, passing with their hum and click, with their rum and rumble, cutting their outlines on brick buildings which offer back f
One of the biggest challenges of going backpacking is knowing what food to bring. The first time I went backpacking, those expensive bags of dehydrated meals you buy at your local outdoor supply store seemed like the obvious solution. We
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
-- Henry David Thorea