Ryan Adams dropped two new songs over the last few weeks, both related to Colorado media outlets. The first was a tribute to radio station 105.5 The Colorado Sound, while the second was penned in exchange for a weather forecasting gig for news channel Denver 7. Adams is apparently still very much in the giving spirit, as today he took to Twitter to tease the release of more than four different projects, including 17 all-new songs as well as his long-lost Blackhole album.
“I have 17 new songs,” he wrote. “I have 4 records on a shelf. Does anyone want to hear Prisoner 2 & 3, Black Hole? Live at Capitol Theater w @stringdusters, Exile on Main Street cover live & rehearsal?” He added, “I’m just asking to see if maybe I’m crazy & no one does.”
He isn’t crazy — most fans would salivate at the thought of hearing even just one of the aforementioned projects. Adams’ last full-length was 2017’s excellent Prisoner, so hearing a 17-track follow-up would be a treat. But so would alternate versions of or sequels to that album, which is what Prisoner 2 and Prisoner 3 might be referring to.
A recording of his July 24, 2016 show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, could also make for an important collector’s item. That gig, which was alongside The Infamous Stringdusters, boasted collaborative covers of Slayer’s “South of Heaven” and Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard”. It also featured a solo acoustic set from Adams in which he debuted a handful of songs that would later appear on Prisoner. Similarly, a live recording of his tribute concert to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, which took place as part of the New Orleans Jazz Fest this past May, would probably be at the top of any Adams wish list.
However, the holy grail of all unreleased Adams projects is perhaps Blackhole. Dating back more than 10 years, it’s reportedly the last album he recorded while still battling drugs. Adams has been teasing the long-lost LP for years; most recently, he considered finally releasing it for Record Store Day 2015. According to the rocker, there’s also two different versions of Blackhole that he’s been sitting on.
“There’s one where the vocals and the performances are really fucked-up,” he told NME. “Then there’s a second version, which was the last thing I did when I was still messed up. Bits and pieces of that had to be stitched together to make the final product like a patchwork quilt, because some of its vocal takes are too fucked-up to release. But it’s really cool and the end result made me very happy.”
Now we play the waiting game. It’s your move, Adams.
Update: Adams has shared the cover for Blackhole (see below). He added, “There’s a darkness in the world right now – and I say this knowing what horrible things are happening and how small and insignificant this is to familes being separated, kids being put in prison camps, the EPA allowing companies to dump raw toxins in our water, and unhinged madman creating chaos daily in our country. It’s all horrifying. This is just about music. A small but important thing that helps heal and keeps some hope alive for us all. I have the best fans. I want them to be able to hear my songs while I’m here. Released my way. To play them for you live.”
There's a darkness in the world right now – and I say this knowing what horrible things are happening and how small and insignificant this is to familes being separated, kids being put in prison camps, the EPA allowing companies to dump raw toxins in our water, and unhinged madman creating chaos daily in our country. It's all horrifying. This is just about music. A small but important thing that helps heal and keeps some hope alive for us all. I have the best fans. I want them to be able to hear my songs while I'm here. Released my way. To play them for you live. There's no map. Bob Dylan and @gratefuldead taught me that. I'm trying to come to terms with that. There's something blocking my way. I just want to be who I am. Every artist is different. I make a lot of music. I am wildly in love with writing songs. Not every one should come out. But, there's too much held back. I am not and never will be some huge artist who has to create their career so they can play the next stadium. And if I were I would ONLY get there being who I really am. A song-crazy goofball. It's time to be who I am. Songs are gifts. Music heals. Let it live. Cold Roses was written & recorded in 2 weeks. FYI… Every minute of it in a studio right before it was tracked. I love you, cats. Here's what the cover of Black Hole is. I get to listen to it. I hope you can soon too. And so much else. XO