Ryan Adams & Emmylou Harris Show Preview

Photo courtesy: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Author: Laura Perry
Ryan Adams and Emmylou Harris are coming to Breese Stevens Field on Friday, Sept. 29th. I, for one, am pumped.

If you are not already a fan of Ryan Adams, you might recognize him from his recent album of Taylor Swift cover songs or, possibly, from the CD your dad puts on in the car. The subjects of his alt-country and indie rock songs run the gamut: a screed against Tennessee summers, a love song to Sylvia Plath, a nostalgic ode to a busted stoplight in his hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina.

While most of his albums are effectively “sad bastard music,” Adams takes a lighthearted approach that avoids the studied melancholy that the sad bastard artist persona requires. For instance, he claims the name of his first solo record, Heartbreaker, was inspired by his Mariah Carey poster. He also no longer throws out audience members who jokingly ask him to sing Bryan Adams songs and has even occasionally covered one or two. This attitude helps cut through much of the pretense, though many do find him a bit sincere even still.

Breese Stevens Field will likely be full of sad bastards on Friday night, rocking out to some of the songs off his latest album Prisoner with appropriately glum motifs like “Doomsday,” “Breakdown,” “Broken Anyway” and “Do You Still Love Me?” At least for me, the answer to that question is still YES! His prolific output of songs about love, loss, and the weather means whatever you’ve got going on, there’s a song for that.

If that’s not enticement enough, this Friday is also a chance to hear the mind-blowing voice of 13-time Grammy winner Emmylou Harris. Originally slated to perform at the Capitol Theater on the 29th, her switch to Breese Stevens to appear on the bill with Adams this Friday is a boon. I’m hoping it means we will hear songs from his back catalogue like “Oh My Sweet Carolina” as she sang backing vocals on the original release. These two together is a rare, sweet treat.