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Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Look Back at the February, 2000 Solo Tour....

In February of 2000, Ryan set out on the road for his second tour ever as a solo artist. Alongside two other amazing songwriters in Kim Richey and Chuck Prophet, the three of them hopped in a van together, and performed a whirlwind 4 shows in 5 days in cities in the Northwest. Each night (except for Portland), the three alternated playing one song at a time. While one songwriter was playing, the others often backed them up on vocals and lead guitar. The crowds were often small, but very attentive

These four shows mark a pivotal time in Ryan's career, as they show some of the earliest signs that Adams is starting to become his own artist, and distancing himself further away from Whiskeytown. In the months prior to his last solo tour, he had played one-off show(s) with his punk group - Snow Kobra, and written a new batch of songs that would quickly eclipse most of what he had been performing at previous solo shows.

In just over three short months since the October 99' Southeast tour, Ryan had transformed himself into a very confident, and captivating solo performer. During these 4 shows, Ryan debuts the "war horses" of Heartbreaker ("To Be Young", "Oh My Sweet Carolina", "Come Pick Me Up"); as well as delivers near-definitive versions of future Cardinals classics ("What Sin Replaces Love", "Don't Fail Me Now"). His onstage banter is also pretty hilarious at times.

Ryan wasn't the only one turning heads at these shows. Chuck Prophet was still performing songs from arguably the best album of his career - Homemade Blood, as well as from his month old new record - The Hurting Business. While Kim Richey was already playing new songs from her Lost Highway debut - Rise, which was still over two years away from being released! Together, the three of them sound like one big happy family onstage, as they joke around, and play on each other's songs.

A few things that stuck out to me from these performances:

  1. Ryan debuts "Come Pick Me Up" on Valentines Day at the Tractor Tavern (see video below). He introduces the song as something he had just written that day and that "it probably sucks". The crowd loves it and Chuck Prophet seems in awe! This is pretty cool version of the song, and contains a different verse, slightly different chorus, and no harmonica.
  2. I think I like the solo renditions of "Don't Fail Me Now" (with Kim and Chuck on background vocals) better than any other versions out there.
  3. According to Ryan, it sounds as though "To Be Young" was mostly written on his own. But on Heartbreaker, it's credited to him and David Rawlings?? I'm assuming that Dave was given a songwriting credit either because of his bitching opening guitar soloing on the song, or for his work tightening and polishing the song up?? strange....
  4. Lastly, I noticed that both answeringbell.com and archiveasylum.com mention another show on February 11th in Nashville. According to a comment by Kim Richey, the three of them only played 4 shows together though, so I'm not sure where that info came from??

Below is some more info on the shows - including links to: downloads, a listening log with rating and highlights, song stats, and more. I'll also be posting live recordings of the 2/13, 2/14, and 2/16 shows in the coming weeks. This will be an ongoing project for this blog where I revisit tours, one leg at a time. Hope you enjoy.

2/12/00 - Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR - %
2/13/00 - Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA
2/14/00 - Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA
2/16/00 - Slim's, San Francisco, CA

Highlighted Shows were recorded.
% - Full setlist is not available. Any information about the "unknown song" from the set is greatly appreciated, please comment below or email me.

February 00' Song Stats (does not include the setlist for 2/12, since the one I've seen is not complete)

February 00' Listening Logs - notes, highlights, ratings, and more about the shows listed above.

Set Lists can be found at: http://www.archiveasylum.com/ab/

Live Debuts (6) - Don't Fail Me Now, Oh My Sweet Carolina, Come Pick Me Up, What Sin Replaces Love, Bus Back to Memphis, To Be Young

Guest Appearances - Kim Richey (background vocals each night), Chuck Prophet (background vocals, and occasional lead guitar)

Strongest Performances of Tour: 2/13, and 2/14

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