Ryan Adams is a fairly polarizing figure. You either like or hate both his personality and music. I happen to fall on the side of enjoying both his personality (fucking crazy, pretty funny), and music (eclectic and prolific).
From about 2002-2006, Ryan Adams released 6 albums (including a slew of widely bootlegged tracks and near complete records), and then according to Adams, he started dabbling around with drugs and his output slipped to only 5 albums between 2007-2011. All of it is pretty good. Until the release of his latest self-titled, Adams had been silent in public sans sporadic career spanning shows here and there, and some production work (including some tracks on the recent Jenny Lewis record).
In support of his new album Ryan Adams is touring the country, and made a stop at the 2014 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park festival. This year marked Ryan Adams first appearance at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, and he headlined the first day. Adams performed a number of songs from his 2000 debut solo record, perhaps in tribute to his friends – David Rawlings and Emmylou Harris who produced and guested on the album respectively, and whom both also played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival (the record is called Heartbreaker and its a classic – pick it up). This Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival set was notable also for an improvised song that Adams created about three balloons released into the sky from the crowd.
Below is a complete Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival set list (courtesy Setlist.fm)
Gimme Something Good
Let It Ride (Ryan Adams & The Cardinals cover)
Stay With Me
New York, New York (Slower rendition)
Easy Plateau (Ryan Adams & The Cardinals cover)
Fix It (Ryan Adams & The Cardinals cover)
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Am I Safe
Peaceful Valley (Ryan Adams & The Cardinals cover)
Three Fucking Balloons (improv song)
Come Pick Me Up