Ryan Adams – “Cold Roses”

Ryan Adams sings of North Carolina often. Seeing as Amy and I are only 90 days away from calling the state our home, Ryan Adams’ music, especially Cold Roses, has a new sweetness to it.

When my brother sent me an email basically saying, “LISTEN TO THIS. NOW,” I had only heard Ryan Adams’ name in passing. I had seen a poster from one of his live shows hanging in the Hard Rock Café. That was about it. But, I don’t take a “LISTEN TO THIS. NOW” email lightly. I listened and loved what I was hearing.

Cold Roses is a two-disc set, though all of the music can fit onto one 80-minute CD. When I acquired my copy, I listened to it as if nothing was out of order. I have only recently come to find out that my discs are in order as far as songs, but what I thought was disc one is actually two and vice versa. There is no going back now. “Easy Plateau” will always be the first track of Cold Roses.

There is no doubt that Ryan Adams is an amazing talent. However, what I love about the album is the introduction of The Cardinals. The Cardinals were Ryan’s backup band for five years, starting with this album. Their contribution to the entire record is unmistakable. For me, the band’s ability to chug along with power, like in “Beautiful Sorta,” and ease up to a light ambience, like in “Rosebud,” is their strong suit.

Cold Roses is a road album, and I’ve used it for this purpose on many occasions. But, there is a certain experience with this album that gave it the profundity it has in my mind now.

Amy and I were driving around Arden, North Carolina. We’ve visited the state a lot, but this was a different experience. We were driving around looking for an apartment. We were scoping out places we could work in the future, where we could buy furniture when we finally made it north, and where we would be buying groceries on a weekly basis. Though this may seem medial, for Amy and I, it was planning our life. We’re moving out of love for North Carolina and the sense of excitement from living in a new place now that we’re married. Everything, whether finding a job or buying groceries, becomes more and more important to us.

There is excitement, and there is fear. Through it all, Cold Roses remains a constant soundtrack. There are very few long drives that we don’t put the album on, and it never ceases to impress me how appropriate it seems on the highway.

I just can’t wait to listen to it as a North Carolinian in only a matter of months.


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