Today’s Free Download – Ryan Adams

adamscardinals.jpgWhy do bands from a bygone era continue winning young fans?

I remember when musicians made records with the spirit of football players. They played like there was no tomorrow. Rod Stewart, Elton John, the Eagles and others cranked out new LPs every 8 months. When they weren’t in the studio, they were out touring. People who wonder why today’s musicians don’t inspire the same kind of devotion as bands in the Seventies sometimes forget this part of the equation. The classic rock work ethic produced a pretty sizable pool of tracks to remember 30-40 years on.

Ryan Adams is a throwback to those days, a relentless performer who doesn’t know the meaning of down time. Since leaving Whiskeytown, he’s released at least an album a year, and four since 2004. One of them, Cold Roses, was a two-disc set.

Plus, he tours like crazy, plays 30 song sets and doesn’t charge a fortune for tickets. My kinda guy.

This track is from a show recorded last year in New Jersey. (Note: As of 3/8/2007, this link was dead)  I love the song, “Come Pick Me Up,” because it’s at once sweet and indignant; it lilts like James Taylor and snarls like Elvis Costello.

Ryan’s opening, along with Neko Case, for Willie Nelson at the Hollywood Bowl this Sunday, where the cheapest seat is under 13 bucks. That equates to the price of a CD, just like the ticket-LP ratio in the Seventies. That’s another reason for classic rock’s huge fan base. Nowadays, tickets cost the same as the machine that plays the music.

On another note, the web site that hosts this track (3/8/2007 – broken link) has a bevy of alt-country and indie live stuff that’s, I assume, provided by authorized tapers.