Ryan Adams and the Cardinals celebrated today’s (Oct. 28) release of their new Lost Highway album, “Cardinology,” with a surprise eight-song acoustic performance at Soho’s tiny Cafe Select.
“We’re going to play some music while you’re having lunch,” Adams joked before he, guitarist Neal Casal and drummer Brad Pemberton launched into “Born Into a Light,” the first of five straight songs from “Cardinology.”
At one point, Adams could be heard asking Casal, “What else is on this record? I don’t have it yet,” and the cafe’s espresso machine was also audible during “Magick,” adding to the unusual vibe.
Eventually, Adams began taking requests from the crowd, who were alerted to the gig via a posting on the fan site RyanAdamsArchive.com. He played “If I Am a Stranger” and “Cherry Lane” from his 2005 album, “Cold Roses,” and wrapped the set with a rambling version of the new “Let Us Down Easy,” with made-up lyrics about a waitress turning into a robot and vaporizing him with a laser.
The Cardinals will continue the celebration Friday with a show at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. And although “Cardinology” just came out today, Adams is already dreaming about where he and his bandmates will go next.
“Sh*t’s going to get weird and awesome,” he tells Billboard. “Because we’re into bands like Oasis and Foo Fighters: big, monolithic rock bands who really explore all those areas. That’s what Cardinals is. That’s the work I want to do.”
Here is Ryan Adams’ set list:
“Born Into a Light”
“If I Am a Stranger”
“Let Us Down Easy”