Adam Warner knows a lot of different roads. Certainly he is no stranger to change. You see, sometimes you encounter things that drastically alter your life or your perception of it. It could be restless new sounds you hear that tear you out of your everyday existence. Or maybe it’s seeing the “Dead End” sign at the end of your street and smiling knowingly. Sometimes it’s a matter of life-altering fried chicken.
Whether it’s hearing Tom Waits and Guy Clark for the first time or hanging out in Austin and having your friend Gary McElhaney (sculptor and former Armadillo World Headquarters poster artist) prepare the best meal of your life or well, just realizing the intellectual and artistic limitations of living just outside a town where the real estate agent’s name is Skeeter, something’s got to budge. So budge he did.
Unable to heed the stop signs they finally got in the hamlet of Lakeport, he traded the beloved ghost town of his youth for the biggest city in the country. Of course, he left room in his suitcase for the values and history he grew up with. You can take the boy out of the country but. . .
You get the picture. So he ended up in the city playing with everyone, everywhere. Since then the list looks like a who’s who of what’s going on in Canada.
Adam was the longtime drummer for the other-worldly crazy rock and roll armada known as White Cowbell Oklahoma. He is also a former member of pop sensation The Golden Dogs. He was even a founding member of African group Radio Nomad (winner of Music Africa’s Band of the Year award in 2000.) He has performed and/or recorded with members of the Barenaked Ladies, Sloan, the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea, Moist- really any major Canadian act who didn’t move to southern California in the mid to late 60’s.
Touring extensively through North America, Europe and the U.K. he has played everywhere from the Cavern Club to CBGB’s to Bospop to SXSW and all points in between. Along the way he has shared festival stages with artists such as Iron Maiden, Joe Cocker, Peter Frampton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roger Hodgson, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, G Love and Special Sauce, The Drive-by Truckers, Alanis Morrisette, Nashville Pussy and John Lee Hooker Jr. He’s played to 40,000 ecstatic fans. He’s played to volatile biker gangs. You name it.
With “fall” and “No Place to Lay” he’s got two critically acclaimed albums under his belt.
But why do people like his music so much? Well, you know how most popular music is aimed at 11 year olds? Not so much here. Nobody’s going to insult your intelligence. His music is more about REAL stuff like soil, sleep, family, murder, age, community, loss, love and appreciating all you’ve got. Now, don’t get me wrong. This ain’t your grandma’s band (though she may very well like it.)
All this sung with a huge voice that can be gentle, smooth, seducing or can be reduced to a peel-the-paint-off-the-walls holler. Lyrically and musically, he’s standing at the crossroads between the country and the city, joy and sadness, starkness and lush beauty. And groove? Everything his fearless band does, it does with SERIOUS groove. We’re talking “Country-Soul” music that just makes you feel good.
Let’s invite Tom Waits to the party. Maybe Lyle Lovett drops by and brings Neil Young with him. The Meters are pulling into the driveway. Where’s The Band? Oh, they’re in the living room fixing a drink. Gillian Welch and Van Morrison are knocking at the back door. “OK, everybody into the kitchen.” The best parties end up there eventually, don’t they? It’s time to sit back with some old friends you haven’t seen in ages but you pick up like not a day has gone by. Cut the cards and take the bread out of the oven. How’s your grandmother doing?
“a beautiful collection of songs that makes you wish the major labels would all burn to the ground and music would return to its storytelling roots.” -Soul Shine Magazine