To the best of my recollection, Ryan Adams has played Red Butte Garden twice. Once, in 2007—and it did not go well. And again last year—and it went really well.


I have been a fan of  Adam’s music since I first heard Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac—one of the best alt-country albums ever made. Adams started Whiskeytown with the angelic-voiced Caitlyn Cary, and though the band didn’t last long, their three albums are still on heavy-rotation at my house.

After Whiskeytown, Adams launched a solo career starting with the phenomenal Heartbreaker, but quickly became prolific and released albums at a manic pace—at the detriment of quality. But, he’s slowed down. He’s got a new band and a new outlook—maybe divorce made him grow up a little, that happens to the best of us. And did y’all hear the cover he did of an entire Tswift album? That could have gone really, terribly wrong, but I dare to say that his 1989 is better than hers.

Amanda Shires, who plays a mean fiddle, opens. Shires is married to singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, who I would not be at all surprised to see take the stage for a song or two on Monday night.

The show is sold-out, but you know the drill. Highly motivated buyers will find a way in or hike up the hill. Gates open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30.