Review: Jacksonville City Nights by Ryan Adams

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Sep 282005
 
Jacksonville City Nights
Jacksonville City Nights,
originally uploaded by cspowers.

These days, Ryan Adams seems to be the alt.country singer critics and DJs love to hate. Are they looking to be the first one to tear down the idol? Have they just run out of things to say about the man?

Some simply complain that the man is getting to big for his britches. But the most common complaint I hear about the man and the sound of his new band, The Cardinals, is that he’s too “derivitive”. “He’s borrowing from the Grateful Dead,” some say. Others say “he’s just following in Neil Young’s tracks.” One DJ recently told me, “He’s got his Gram Parson’s knob turned up to 11.” Whatever.

Yeah, maybe the man has gotten fulll of himself. I have no idea. I’ve never met him personally. And really that only maters to people like music critics who might get a chance to share a beer with him. As for being too derivitive goes, so what? Lots of artists have made darn good careers entertaining people without breaking and new ground for their art.

The question is, “did ya like listening to the CD?” The answer, at least for me is, a resounding “Yep.” Continuing the style from Cold Roses, we get a soulful, often falsetto vocal style delivering lyrics in Ryan’s almost-free-verse-not-quite-rhyming style. Musical arrangements come across with a solid, alt.country twang layered on top with plesantly clangy guitar riffs and the ocassional instrumentals that do indeed harken back to the days of Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, and Gram Parsons. But for me, this is a good thing, not something to be dissed.

Taproot Tracks:
Hard Way To Fall
The Hardest Part
A Kiss Before I go

Play List: September 17, 2005

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Sep 182005
 

*** = show highlight
Hour 1
Song / Artist / Title / Time
Badass With A Heart Of Gold / Jason Morphew / Oxford American 1999 / 2:20
Baby! Heaven Sent Me You / The Texas Tornados / Gringo Lingo / 2:30
I’m Barely Hanging On To Me / Marshall Crenshaw / Touch My Heart: A Tribute To Johnny Paycheck / 2:50
Set You Free / The Black Keys / Not The Same Old Blues Crap, Vol. 3 / 2:46
The Road Goes On Forever / Robert Earl Keen / The Party Never Ends / 5:05
Voila, An American Dream / Guy Clark / Craftsman (Disc 1) / 3:48
It’ll Feel Good After It Quits Hurtin’ / Loretta Lynn / Honky Tonk Girl (Disc 3) / 2:16
Mockingbird / Ryan Adams & The Cardinals / Cold Roses (Disc 1) / 4:47
On Time / Gourds / Blood Of The Ram / 2:58
My Dog & Me / John Hiatt & The Goners / Beneath This Gruff Exterior / 3:15
Saints Go Marching In / Precious Bryant / My Name Is Precious / 2:23
Gilded Cage / Dave Insley / Call Me Lonesome / 4:16
Hard Time Killing Floor / R.L. Burnside / Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting D / 5:09
Drowning On Dry Land / O.V. Wright / The Soul Of O.V. Wright / 2:55

Hour 2
Song / Artist / Title / Time
Crazy Dream / Los Lonely Boys / Los Lonely Boys / 4:47
Midnight Rider / Willie Nelson / It Will Always Be / 3:00
Highway To Hell / Red Star Belgrade / Down To The Promised Land, Disc 2: 5 Years Of Bloodshot Records / 3:35
Homework / Peter Wolf / Sleepless / 2:39
Stranger In The House / Elvis Costello / My Aim Is True / 3:06
Good Times, They Disappear / Choosy Beggars / Choosy Beggars / 4:29
*** Little Rock / Hayes Carll / Little Rock / 3:05
Broken Heart For Sale / Heather Myles / Highways & Honky Tonks / 3:00
In State / Kathleen Edwards / Back To Me / 3:56
Nobody’s Business / Billie Holiday / Royal Blues / 2:23
Booze Instead Of Wine & Beef / Louie Fontaine / Soul Satisfaction / 2:13
Lonesome For You Now / Greg Trooper / Make It Through This World / 4:18
*** Goodbye Johnnty B. Goode / Macavine Hayes / Drinkhouse / 3:48
I’ll Be Satisfied / Don Covay / Mercy/See-Saw / 3:17
Ole Slew Foot / James McMurtry / Childish Things / 4:33
River Deep, Mountain High / Ike & Tina Turner / Absolutely The Best / 3:56

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Play List: September 9, 2005

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Sep 102005
 

*** = show highlight
Hour 1
Song / Artist / Title / Time

Plaid Coat / Gourds / Stadium Blitzer / 2:13
Pontiac / Fred Eaglesmith / Lipstick Lies & Gasoline / 4:52
Everything Is Broken / Bob Dylan / The Essential Bob Dylan (Disc 2) / 3:14
You’re The Reason Our Kid’s Are Ugly / Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty / Honky Tonk Girl (Disc 3) / 2:34
*** Childish Things / James McMurtry / Childish Things / 4:34
It’s Only Love / John Doe / Meet John Doe / 3:20
Reward / Ol’ Yeller / Sounder / 2:27
Sittin’ Sad / Malcolm Holcombe / I Never Heard You Knockin’ / 2:43
Gone Astray / Percy Mayfield / Down And Out – The Sad Soul Of The Black South / 3:13
The Long Cut / Uncle Tupelo / Anodyne / 3:20
*** What I Really Mean / Robert Earl Keen / What I Really Mean / 3:46
Empty Spaces / Mary Gauthier / Mercy Now / 3:44
Matrimony / Whiskeytown / Whiskeytown: Faithless Street [Reissue] / 3:49
I’ve Been Searching / O.V. Wright / The Soul Of O.V. Wright / 2:39
Warm & Tender Love / Caitlin Cary And Thad Cockrell / Begonias / 4:44

Hour 2
Song / Artist / Title / Time
Never Never Boy / Mercury Dime / Baffled Ghosts / 3:22
So Doggone Lonesome / Johnny Cash / The Legend Of Johnny Cash / 2:36
Only One And Only / Gillian Welch / Revival / 5:34
Long Journey Home / South Austin Jug Band / South Austin Jug Band / 2:23

Intro R.L. Burnside Tribute
Recently passed away. One of the best examples of Delta blues
straight out of the bar juke joint scene.
Born in 1926 in Oxford Mississippi and lived
in Holly Springs in the northern part of the state
worked as a farmer for most of his life, had 13 kids,
occasionally performed with his family band, Sound Machine
Fred McDowell who was a neighbor, was one of his earliest influences.
also influenced by Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins.
did notstart touring until the 90’s when fat possum records started promoting him
played several european blues festivals and started to tour the US. It’s at
this time you start hearing him mix urban influences in his music.
played occasionally in the area especially in the 90’s when he did a
collaboration project with Jon Spence Blues explosion called
A Ass pocket of Whiskey.
Heart attack in 2004 just as he complete “A Bothered Mind” never fully recovered,
died last week in a Memphis hospital.

My Black Name A Ringin’ / R.L. Burnside / My Black Name A-Ringin’ / 2:27
Made in 1969 by Bluesman Big Joe Williams on Adelphi Records
a traditional blues tune from the days of slavery.
See My Jumper / R.L. Burnside / My Black Name A-Ringin’ / 3:56
From same album – a Burnside original
Hard Time Killing Floor / R.L. Burnside / Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting D / 5:09
2000, start to see the urban influence creeping into tradtional delta blues style
Walkin’ Blues / R.L. Burnside / Not The Same Old Blues Crap 2 / 3:53
from 2001
Goin’ Down South / R.L. Burnside / Not The Same Old Blues Crap, Vol. 3 / 3:11
co-written with rap artist lyric born 2004
Snake Drive / R.L. Burnside / A Ass Pocket Of Wiskey / 3:45
1996, with jon spencer and the blues explosion, cat’s cradle one of the first places this song was performed.

Dead Man Shake / Grandpaboy / Dead Man Shake / 3:36
Out Of Your Life / Tim Easton / The Truth About Us / 4:13
Suppose Tonight Would Be Our Last / The Two Dollar Pistols & Tift Merrit / The Two Dollar Pistols With Tift Merritt / 2:42
Sweet Side / Lucinda Williams / Live @ The Fillmore [Disc 1] / 4:44

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