If you ignore the fact that any of his sadder, sappier new material could be about his wife, a post-Walk to Remember Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams remains one of the most listenable and versatile singer-songwriters just this side of Americana. Three years ago, he married Moore, sobered up, disbanded his alt-country band the Cardinals, took a break from touring and began stockpiling all of his previously unreleased material. Through his October solo album, Ashes & Fire, we're led to believe that Adams escaped this period unscathed and unfazed, a little raw for the wear but with a deeper, clearer and more intimate shade of voice and self-awareness than we've seen from him in years. In making himself more vulnerable, Adams has made his second act unmissable.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.