Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown

David Menconi

Texas Book Festival

Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown

by David Menconi
University of Texas Press, 222 pp., $19.95

There's no one more qualified to write the story of Ryan Adams than David Menconi. A music critic at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., he enjoyed a friendly relationship with the former Whiskeytown leader and "It Boy" that lasted until 2001. Drawing from interviews with the artist, as well as his former bandmates and infamous online postings, the author paints a portrait that can be insightful at times, mainly when discussing the attraction behind alt.country phenoms Whiskeytown. Mainly North Carolina-based, the band had an Austin component, one this writer got to witness firsthand, and Menconi captures it with precision. Yet the discussion of Adams' solo career, when Menconi lost direct contact with his subject, comes off less cogent. Meanwhile, his song-by-song analysis of certain works occasionally devolves into fan speak. Still the meat of the book, the story of Adams' beginnings, his uncontrolled songwriting gift, and the anarchy surrounding Whiskeytown is well told.

David Menconi takes part in TBF's Lit Crawl. His "And Rock & Roll" panel discussion weighs in Saturday, Oct. 27, 9-9:45pm, at Shangri-La, 1016 E. Sixth.

More Ryan Adams
Ian McLagan: All I Wanna Do
Ian McLagan: All I Wanna Do
Ian McLagan on these United States

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 12, 2014

Spotlight: Caitlin Cary
Spotlight: Caitlin Cary
Antone's, Midnight

Jim Caligiuri, March 15, 2002

More Whiskeytown
Otis Redding, Lynyrd Skynyrd, & Whiskeytown
Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul (Collector's Edition), Street Survivors (Deluxe Edition 30th Anniversary), Strangers Almanac (Deluxe Edition) (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, May 2, 2008

More Music Reviews
My Little Red Book
Stick It! My Life of Sex, Drums, and Rock & Roll
Rod Stewart mispronounced the session basher's name, but Carmine Appice survived nonetheless

Richard Whittaker, June 17, 2016

My Little Red Book
Terminated for Reasons of Taste
Collection of local brainiac Chuck Eddy's freakishly knowledgeable music insights

Libby Webster, June 17, 2016

More by Jim Caligiuri
Texas Platters
My Jerusalem
A Little Death (Record Review)

July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
Hard Proof
Public Hi-Fi Sessions 03 (Record Review)

July 15, 2016


Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)