Happy Birthday Ryan Adams: Performing Live With Whiskeytown

By Andy Kahn Nov 5, 2016 1:13 pm PDT

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina on this date in 1974. The prolific, multi-talented musician and producer has established himself as a premiere solo artist and highly sought after collaborator. In celebration of the pinball playing, cat loving, metal-obsessed 42-year-old, here’s a look back at Ryan performing live with one of his earliest and influential bands – Whiskeytown.

With violinist Caitlin Cary and an ever-changing membership, Adams and Whiskeytown released three full length alt-country albums between 1995 and 2001. Their debut with bassist Steve Grothmann, drummer Eric Gilmore and guitarist Phil Wandscher came in 1995 with the release of Faithless Street. Adams, Cary and Wandscher, along with bassist Jeff Rice and drummer Steven Terry issued Strangers Almanac in 1997. Mike Daly was made a member of the band, and along with Adams, Cary and a number of guest musicians, recorded 2001’s Pneumonia.

The delayed release of Pneumonia marked the end of the band, with Adams issuing the solo records Heartbreaker in 2000 and Gold in 2001. In the prevailing years a number of Whiskeytown songs have made it into Ryan’s setlists, including “Jacksonville Skyline,” “16 Days,” “Houses On The Hill,” “Dancing With The Women At The Bar” and “Avenues” from Strangers Almanac and “Jacksonville Skyline” from Pneumonia.

For a sense of what Whiskeytown was like on stage, here’s footage of the band in action with various lineups during their short-lived career:

[Drank Like A River – St. Louis 1997]

[Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight – St. Louis 1997]

[16 Days – Austin City Limits 1998]

[Houses On the Hill – Austin City Limits 1998]

[Yesterday’s News – Austin City Limits 1998]

[A Song For You – Sessions At West 54th Tribute To Gram Parsons 1999]

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