Many Ryan Adams detractors have trouble grasping the context of his half-joking forays into metal and other genres contrasting the alt-country label for which he’s most famously known, but perhaps this recent live riff on Whiskeytown’s “16 Days” as a black metal acoustic jam alongside the more traditional take that follows will provide some enlightening context to Adams’ playful genre experiments. My take on it is that he’s deconstructing the craftsmanship behind his songwriting through humor while seizing the moment to show off a near-unparalleled vocal range. That recalls one complaint I’ve heard about Adams: “He’s a show-off.” Well, hey, the guy’s got a lot of great stuff to show, right? Here’s an example of why such traits are worth cherishing.
You can hear more from this set here (via @daverawkblog). Meanwhile, an announcement of his forthcoming Glyn Johns-produced LP — and our first listen to studio versions of the promising new tunes unveiled last month — is right around the corner.