Whiskeytown were one the mid-'90s wave of bands who approached American roots music--country, folk, singer/songwriter, and combinations thereof--from an alternative rock standpoint. They were apt to be as influenced by Nick Drake and Superchunk as by Johnny Cash and Neil Young. Ryan Adams performs vocal duties for Whiskeytown, and HEARTBREAKER is his first solo album.
It's primarily a singer/songwriter affair, with lots of acoustic guitars, gentle drums, subtle keyboards, and back-porch harmony vocals, but there's also a lot of variety and kick. "To Be Young" tears out of the gate like a rollicking out-take from Dylan's HIGHWAY 61 sessions, and the gentle, shimmering, baroque-tinged "Amy" recalls both the Left Banke, and the Beatles in their "Eleanor Rigby" mode. Many tunes--like "To Be the One"--have a bare-bones, dusty, story-telling quality that recalls Dylan, John Prine, Woody Guthrie, and Steve Earle (who Adams slightly resembles vocally) without ever sounding like Adams is aping them. As a bonus, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch supply heavenly harmonies.
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 5/06/2016