As one of the most influential and beloved Americana artists of the 21st century, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals captivated audiences since their formation in 2004. The band’s influence can be heard in the music of countless artists, from Wilco to The Avett Brothers.
The group earned the admiration of critics and fans alike, and their legacy as one of the most influential Americana bands of the 21st century is more than secure. Led by the enigmatic Ryan Adams, the band has been hailed as one of the most innovative and dynamic acts to emerge from the Americana scene. Born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Adams was drawn to music, picking up the guitar at age 12 and teaching himself to play by listening to classic rock and blues albums. His early influences included Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and Neil Young.
At age 16, Adams formed his first band, The Patty Duke Syndrome, which played small clubs and bars in the Jacksonville area. After graduating from high school, Adams moved to Nashville and began to pursue a career in music. He quickly gained a reputation as a talented songwriter, and soon signed a recording contract with Lost Highway Records.
In 2004, Adams formed the infamous Ryan Adams & The Cardinals with lead guitarist Neal Casal, bassist Chris Feinstein, and drummer Brad Pemberton. The band quickly made a name for themselves, releasing their critically acclaimed debut album, Cold Roses, in 2005. The album featured a mix of folk, country, and rock, and was praised for its raw, stripped-down sound. The collective released a steady stream of albums, including Jacksonville City Nights (2005), Easy Tiger (2007), and Cardinology (2008). Each album showcased the band’s unique blend of Americana, folk, and rock, while Adams’ songwriting continued to evolve and mature.
In 2010, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals disbanded, and Adams returned to his solo career. Since then, he has released a steady stream of solo albums, including no less than 5 studio albums in 2022 alone.
But the love of The Cardinals has remained - often praised for their unique blend of Americana, folk, and rock. While the band’s live performances have been remembered by nostalgic fans for their energy and intensity.
March, 2023 - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals announce their long awaited return. Adams has put together an all-star line-up who will hit the road in the US in the Summer of 20223. The line-up: Adams, Brad Pemberton, Chris Stills, Daniel Clarke and Don Was.
Brad Pemberton – a founding member of The Cardinals who had toured with Adams from 2001-2009, recording numerous albums together. Brad has also recorded/performed with Steve Earle & The Dukes, Iodine, Patty Griffin, Elizabeth Cook, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and numerous others.
Chris Stills - son of Stephen Stills and French singer-songwriter Veronique Sanson, Stills first picked up a guitar on the road with Crosby, Stills And Nash aged 12 and went on to forge his own solo career over two albums, 100 Year Thing (1998) and Chris Stills (2005). He also played with Adams, the Jayhawks and more. As well as turning to acting too, both on stage (a 2009 role as Julius Caesar in the French production Cleopatre - La Derniere Reine d'Egypt) and screen, appearing in 2010 movie Requiem For A Killer and TV shows such as Shameless.
Daniel Clarke - keyboardist in Adams’ backing band The Shining between 2014 and 2017, Richmond, Virginia native Clarke is a well-respected multi-instrumentalist, playing at the White House and the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. A collaborator with a wide array of acts including k.d. lang, The War On Drugs, Jenny Lewis and Bob Mould, he has also enjoyed a solo career involving a single, “Diamonds”, released on Adams’ label PAX AM in 2015.
Don Was - the literal Don of ‘80s funk rock legends Was (Not Was), Was has moved on to become a celebrated, Grammy-winning producer for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Bob Dylan, among countless others. Now president of Blue Note Records Was has also helped co-produce two of Adams’ recent albums (2020’s Wednesdays and 2021’s Big Colors).