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Busy and bored, Adams tames "Tiger"
NEW YORK (Billboard) - When Ryan Adams got bored on tour during 2006, he recorded approximately 11 albums' worth of material on his laptop and then posted it on his Web site. The alt-country/rock artist rapped, yodeled, rocked out and even mocked detractors.
"It was musical blogging, and I was just ripping on s**t," Adams said. "It's not very good and wasn't meant to be anything more than just a laugh."
If the works of DJ Reggie, WereWolph and his other monikers emerged because of a lack of anything better to do, then "Easy Tiger," due June 19 via Lost Highway, was born of chance.
On the streets of New York, Adams ran into producer Jamie Candiloro, who had helmed the decks on 2003's "Rock N Roll." They decided to reconvene for some sessions, even though Adams wasn't necessarily planning an official new release. With help from his backing band, the Cardinals (guitarist Neal Casal, drummer Brad Pemberton, bassist Chris Feinstein and pedal steel player Jon Graboff), and Candiloro (who has since joined as touring keyboardist), Adams laid out tracks during four two-week recording sessions.
And although "Easy Tiger" is billed as a solo album, Adams says his "focus remains with the Cardinals."
"His friends rallied around him. It was a very quick process, and it was more about capturing a vibe than ironing out imperfections for a clean sound. With Ryan, it never feels belabored," Candiloro said of the recording process. "He's a prolific guy. It'd only be difficult if you have problems keeping up with him."
It's his prolificacy that has earned Adams flack from critics, particularly after he released three albums in less than a year from 2005 to 2006, bringing his tally up to eight full-length albums in six years. The first of the trio, "Cold Roses," has sold 159,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Jacksonville City Nights" has moved 100,000, and "29" has shifted 81,000.
Asked if he has ever countered such criticism with adjustments to his production schedule, Adams sniffed, "I don't physically respond ... I ignore the people that say I'm at fault for being a hard worker. It's completely unreasonable. If anything else, it's my reaction to how creatively lazy people can be. I can do whatever I want and put whatever I want out."
Lost Highway's confidence in Adams' fan base will manifest itself in a boxed set planned for the fall, which may include live tracks, the fabled unreleased albums "48 Hours" and "The Suicide Handbook," the oft-bootlegged "Bedhead" series and leftover songs from the "Easy Tiger" sessions. In addition, a three-song DVD with live versions of "Easy Tiger" tracks and a colored vinyl pressing of the album will be available at select retailers.
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