Photo by David Brendan Hall
Last summer, Ryan Adams famously stripped the pop gloss off 1989, rendering Taylor Swift’s saccharine radio jams as pastoral, tear-streaked reflections. This past weekend at Newport Folk Festival, he again refocused other artists’ music through his own lens by covering Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard” and Slayer’s “South of Heaven” in the style of folky, bluegrass standards.
As if that wasn’t enough Adams wizardry for one day, the singer-songwriter also improvised a song around the phrase “I’m frightened and I’m rabid,” as a nod to Frightened Rabbit, who were playing on a nearby stage.
Watch fan-caught footage of his Slayer cover below (via Stereogum). Listen to his whole set courtesy of NPR (“Frightened and Rabid” starts around 26:55; “The Wizard” around 52:40).
Last week, Adams covered Oasis’ “Supersonic” and “Morning Glory” for the first time.