Videos by American Songwriter
No doubt the music industry can be a brutal machine, and those who make it out unscathed are few and far between. For alt-country tunesmith Ryan Adams, the brunt of a decade-and-a-half crisscrossing the country on tour, squeezing out a new record nearly every year and feuding with the media along the way has finally taken its toll. According to Adams’ “Cardinal Cave” blog, the songwriter is taking a firm “step back” from his career in music after his current tour with backing band the Cardinals has finished its last gig at Atlanta’s Fox Theater on March 20. In his usual stream-of-conscious blog style, Adams had this to say: “i lost more than anyone will ever know (hearing, someone i loved, my sense of dignity, a never ending losing battle with stage fright and now my hearing and balance due to an inner ear issue) … ”
While Adams’ health issues may account for such an abrupt, unforeseen stop, his passing references to the media’s lack of fairness – pulling quotes out of context, and viewing him as an “asshole” – may provide further insight behind his reasons for leaving the biz. Adams refers to himself as a “punch-line and a footnote in what is worse to yell at someone besides ‘free-bird.'”
For all its neg-head frustrations, though, the blog post said he may pursue musical endeavors through other means, and plans of further exploring his newfound love for writing. In addition to a collection of “soul poetry” titled Infinity Blues due in April, Adams says he has tentative plans for two other books. Little else is said as to what those books might contain, but leaves that thought with an ecstatic “i LOVE writing … yay!”
Ryan Adams may have been a catalyst for much of country rock’s modern permutations, but it seems the heartbreaker himself has only escaped a demanding business half-chewed.