His third release of 2005, Ryan Adams takes a break from his band, the Cardinals, to fashion an introspective song cycle with stripped-down arrangements focused on acoustic guitar or solo piano. After the propulsive, self-mythologizing title track opens the album in brazen fashion, forging an unlikely bond of comparison between John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and the early '70s Grateful Dead, much of the rest of 29 finds Adams at his dreamiest.
"The theme of it was that I wanted to write a record where I could write myself out of my twenties. So for each year of my life, in my twenties, I kind of assigned different parts of my character, I gave them names."
2005 saw Adams join with backing band The Cardinals to produce two albums, Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights. Cold Roses, a double album, included backing vocals from Rachael Yamagata on three songs; "Let It Ride," "Cold Roses" and "Friends." His second album of the year, Jacksonville City Nights, featured a duet with Norah Jones on "Dear John." As well as releasing two albums with The Cardinals, Adams released the solo album 29 late in the year. Adams befriended Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, throughout 2006 Lesh's live performances included compositions by Adams, including several from Cold Roses ("Cold Roses," "Let It Ride," and "Magnolia Mountain"), which was heavily influenced by American Beauty and Workingman's Dead, two acoustic-flavored Grateful Dead records from 1970. Three Albums and 46 songs in one year!
|1. Twenty Nine|
|2. Strawberry Wine|
|3. Night Birds|
|4. Blue Sky Blues|
|5. Carolina Rain|
|6. Starlite Diner|
|7. The Sadness|
|8. Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part|