Entertainment Weekly

IT Troubadour
Ryan Adams

Age 26 Why Him? Until he rode into town with last year’s blazing Heartbreaker, the torpid alt-country scene had spent a decade yearning for a swaggering savior. Now it’s got more than one, if you consider Adams’ aptitude for cloning himself: This year brings Pneumonia- a rescued gem from his former band, Whiskeytown - and Gold, a double disc solo mother lode.

EARLY INFLUENCES- Instead of name checking the usual roots-rock totems, Adams pours forth a literary litany-Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Hubert Selby Jr., Albert Camus. "My mother is a teacher, and the room I was raised in had all of her college books I shouldn’t have been reading. I read Henry Miller’s Black Spring and Tropic of Cancer when I was about 13."

WHAT NEVER LEAVES HIS GUITAR CASE- The collected works of Patti Smith.

ODD NOCTURNAL HABIT- When touring, "I tend to sleep on a hotel’s couch. I don’t ever think to jump in the bed."

BEST ADVICE- From fellow North Carolinian Chris Stamey of the dB’s. "He told me if I ever had an idea for a song, to sit down and stay with it until it was done, because those moments of inspiration will pass."