Sip and Spin

“Music isn’t just for listening, it’s a lifestyle. Every record, every record store, and every piece of gear tells a story. Sip… Spin… Repeat..”

Let me take you back in time. Back to the year… 2014.

Ok, maybe this isn’t the most dramatic time traveling story of all time but hey, at least it was a happier time. A time when we weren’t in the thick of a worldwide pandemic. A time when we were not in a stressful election year in the US. A simpler time. A time when I dipped my toe in the world of vinyl records.

That Christmas of 2014, I was gifted an Audio-Technica AT-LP60 and my first record, Ryan Adams’ self-titled which was released a few months prior. My goal was to only collect albums that made sense; old shit and music that was recorded analog (this quickly fell by the wayside as I would later explore the world of colored vinyl, exclusive offerings, and limited pressings, but I digress). In a lot of ways, I feel this atmospheric rock/folk masterpiece was the perfect entry into the world of record collecting.

There is nothing special about the physical appearance of the packaging or the record itself. It is as basic as it gets, but what resides within the 180g vinyl is another story. The album was the first LP self-produced by Adams and recorded at his personal analog studio, PAX AM Studios. Right off the bat, you know you are going to get something authentic from the songwriter with all the warm, dark goodness that comes from recording and pressing analog.

I’m feeling chill today. Let me pour this Stone Glass 2018 Red Blend… drop the needle… take a sip…ahhh that’s good.

Speaking of good, “Gimme Something Good”, the main single from the album, kicks things off. This track is a solid opener and sets the tone for what you are about to hear throughout. SPOILER ALERT – it is not like the previous couple of acoustic/folk style Adams records. He opens the album with some mellow electric guitar riffs with a dash of bass and drum fills, but what really hits for me on the opening number is the organ work performed by Benmont Tench. You might not be too familiar with Tench, but you may have heard of his previous band “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” of which he was a founding member. His piano work on this album is the perfect supplement to the writing direction, something that can honestly be said about all the musicians on this album. 

The next few songs “Kim”, “Trouble”, and “Am I Safe” follow the same creative direction until you hit “Wrecking Ball” which takes you back to the more folkier side of Adams that fans will recognize from albums past.

Take a sip.. flip… drop the needle… you know what? Take another sip, you’ve earned it…

“Stay With Me” opens side B. I LOVE this track and the reason why? Tal Wilkenfeld. I have a soft spot for bass players (being one myself, I tend to be a bit biased) and she is a great one. Her licks on this record are super tasteful but the groove on this track makes you feel it. Those grooves continue right on to “Shadows” and well… pretty much the whole album if I’m being honest. (Tal released a solo album called “Love Remains” last year. Check it out if you have not already).

Some fun facts on this record, in addition to the great band, Johnny Depp laid some guitar tracks on “Kim” and guitar/vocals on “Feels Like Fire”. Adams’ then wife Mandy Moore also provided some backing vocals on “Trouble” and “Am I Safe”.

So that’s it! My first record! I love this album and while my collection has grown a bit, it is still in regular rotation 6 years later.

I want to hear from you! Drop your first record in the comments below!

Label: Pax Americana Record Company ‎– PAX-AM 039, Blue Note ‎– B002099601

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album

Country: US

Released: 05 Sep 2014

Store: Unknown but most likely Amazon

Mike D
Mike DColumnist, Recordholic, Storyteller
My name is Mike, and I am a Recordholic. I am a Long Island born and raised husband and father of 2 boys that have worked in the music industry for over 8 years. Music has always been my life. I consider myself a multi-instrumentalist but my main instrument would be the bass guitar. As a collector of music, starting with tapes followed by CD’s, I began collecting records in 2014. Every record, record store, and piece of gear tells a story. Grab a drink and join me as I share my stories with you.

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