Whiskeytown to Reunite

Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary reviving their alt-country band

June 9, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Three years after disbanding, Whiskeytown are planning a reunion. The North Carolina-based band was founded in 1994 and went through a series of lineup changes before frontman Ryan Adams and singer/violinist Caitlin Cary splintered it to start solo careers. But Adams recently approached Cary and her husband/drummer Skillet Gilmore, who played with the band on its first album, 1996's Faithless Street, to talk about getting together again.

"I always thought that this would happen, but I was thinking it would be five years from now," Cary says. "Ryan made a good point, 'Why wait until we're old and pathetic? We should have a reunion while we're all still young and vibrant.' It could be like a Neil Young, Crazy Horse kind of thing, where every five years we'd get together and make a record. It would be really fun to have Whiskeytown on the backburner in that way."

Adams addressed the Whiskeytown reunion on his Web site. "I'd like very much to go and work on some music with Caitlin and Skillet," Adams posted, "and seeing as we've been talking about it for a while now, why not? Caitlin has her own life now out there, and so do I, which would only make it more fun for both of us. I think it's time Whiskeytown make an actual record we like."

Whiskeytown's tumultuous run yielded three critically acclaimed albums that helped shove the alternative country movement to the brink of the mainstream. The band's swan song, released after its breakup, was 2001's Pneumonia, though Adams and Cary were the only original members left in the band at that point. Cary has released two albums, and Adams three, since the band called it quits.

"I've yet to rib Ryan about saying that Whiskeytown was a 'creative prison,'" says Cary. "Although in some ways it probably was for both of us. Now that I feel I know better what I'm doing and I have less of an agenda, it would be easier to do a collaborative thing. But it remains to be seen if we're better at collaborating -- it's fucking hard to be in a band."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »