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Ryan Adams & The Cardinals: Live In Germany At Das Haus, 10.17.2006 (Free download/stream)

Ryan Adams and The Cardinals 2006 tour of Europe

Favourably this saw the band and it’s leader at the start of a new era: The Cardinals had just replaced original bassist Catherine Popper with Chris “Space Wolf” Feinstein and Adams was still struggling to maintain his newfound (and sorely needed) sobriety. In addition to finally attempting to kick his rather severe drug and alcohol problems, Adams had just released three LPs in ’05 (Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights and 29) and had plans to tour heavily behind all three in the following year. One would think such a tumultuous atmosphere would be distracting at the very least and perhaps even break up a band at the very worst, but Adams and Co. rose to the occasion time after time in ’06, cementing their reputation as one of rock’s finest live acts of the new century. None of those shows is more indicative of the beauty that this band was capable of live than the concert at Germany’s Das Haus on October 17th.

The “Gram Parsons and Elliot Smith front The Grateful Dead” vibe that permeates much of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals’ work has arguably never been more on point than it is at this show (there’s even a cover of the Dead’s “Bird Song”), and the ramshackle beauty of the arrangements and jamming is breathtaking. Adams and Neal Casal’s guitars have never sound more poignant, and the rest of the Cardinals fill out the space around them with a rarified cosmic-country touch. When Ryan Adams is/was “on” and present, he can be one of the best songwriters and performers in music today. The fragile beauty of his songs and arrangements are impossible to deny, and rarely were he and The Cardinals more on point than they were this October night in Germany. Thanks to the fine folks at Archive.org, you can re-live the show via stream and/or download it for free. Enjoy.

Unfortunately Adams disbanded the Cardinals and “retired” from touring in the years that followed due to a recurring vertigo problem that is greatly exacerbated by playing live shows. While Adams has slowly began climbing back on the horse (perhaps a poor choice of words considering his fondness for heroin) and has started performing a scattered concert here and there, Feinstein passed away in 2009, making a true Cardinals reunion impossible. The legacy the band leaves behind is a proud one however, and this show serves as a testament to just how jaw-dropping Ryan Adams and The Cardinals could be live.

Disc 1:
01 Intro
02 Magnolia Mountain
03 Hallelujah
04 Blue Hotel
05 To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)
06 New York, New York
07 She Wants to Play Hearts
08 Chin Up, Cheer Up
09 Freeway to the Canyon
10 Harder Now That It’s Over
11 [Fade Out]

Disc 2:
01 [Fade In]
02 Damn Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)
03 Easy Plateau
04 Peaceful Valley
05 Trouble On Wheels
06 Firecracker
07 Why Do They Leave?
08 A Kiss Before I Go
09 Dear John
10 Cold Roses
11 Bird Song [Jerry Garcia]
12 Wild Flowers
13 Let It Ride

Ryan Adams Live

Recording Quality
Overall Flow
Final Thoughts

An amazing live band at the top of their game!

Overall Score 4.9 Top Notch