by WhiskeytownWhiskeytown


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In 1998, Whiskeytown was on a roll. Fueled by acclaim for their second album, Stranger's Almanac -- which earned the band and frontman Ryan Adams comparisons to Gram Parsons, the Replacements, Wilco, and Bob Dylan, among others -- the North Carolina alt-country group assembled to record their follow-up in an abandoned church in Woodstock, New York. They couldn't have known it then, but the richly textured recordings they made would be held up in record company limbo for three years and would be the band's parting shot. Finally rescued from the vaults, Pneumonia is more meditative than its predecessors. Gone (for the most part) are Adams's Paul Westerberg-like guitar romps and the band's punk-with-a-fiddle approach. What remains is their increasingly classic-sounding twang-'n'-roll songs and earnest approach, as Adams revisits his North Carolina roots on "Jacksonville Skyline" and "My Hometown" and bares his love-stricken soul. On tunes such as the jangly, R.E.M.-ish "Don't Wanna Know Why" and the airy "Don't Be Sad," fiddle player Caitlin Cary proves an elemental force on harmony vocals, elevating the songs' melodies. Things really gel on the flush-in-love tune "Crazy About You" and "Sit and Listen to the Rain," another peek at small-town ennui that's fueled by a rare flourish of electric guitar and a chorus where Adams and Cary muse, "I'll never understand this emptiness." Elsewhere, Whiskeytown branch out on "Paper Moon," which nods to Patsy Cline with its swooning strings and Adams's eyelash-batting coos, and "Mirror, Mirror," a bouncy, horns-and-piano-pumped number with a touch of Broadway flash. But if Pneumonia says anything about this short-lived band, it's that the talent pool ran wide and deep and surely promised more jewels than fate would deliver. With that in mind, keep an ear out for the solo careers of both Adams (already off to a fortuitous start with the release of 2000's Heartbreaker) and Cary.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/22/2001
Label: Lost Highway
UPC: 0008817019925
catalogNumber: 170199

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Whiskeytown   Primary Artist
Jennifer Condos   Bass
James Iha   Guitar,Background Vocals
Ethan Johns   Bass,Guitar,Mandolin,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,Mandocello
Brad Rice   Guitar
Tommy Stinson   Dobro,Guitar
Mike Daly   Dulcimer,Guitar,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Mandocello,Lap Steel Guitar
Ryan Adams   Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Vocals
Caitlin Cary   Fiddle,Background Vocals
Richard Causon   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Ethan Johns   Producer,Engineer
Trina Shoemaker   Engineer
Randy Brion   Arranger
Sue Kappa   Engineer
Ryan Adams   Art Direction

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