JR Adams flies solo with new album
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — JR Adams, lead singer of local band Yer State Birds, is venturing out on his own with his first solo album titled “While We’ve Got the Time.” Explore Steamboat caught up with him this week to find out more about the album, his inspiration and where Steamboat Springs fans can see him play in the future.
Q. How did you decide to go out on your own with a solo album, and what was the experience like?
A. Well, Yer State Birds developed this reputation as being kind of an old school rock ’n’ roll band that plays rowdy live shows. The songs that we play together are built around that live experience and how we react to each other’s playing. It’s part of what I do, but it’s definitely not all of it. I had a lot of material that didn’t really fit in with what the band does. This album is more centered around what goes on in my own head and trying to execute that in the studio.
Q. Tell us about the album. What’s the vibe?
A. It’s definitely a mellower project than Yer State Birds. A lot of acoustic instruments with folk and country influences.
Q. Was it hard to switch back and forth between this project and Yer State Birds?
A. No, I think that I’ve always loved mellower music along with the rock ’n’ roll that I do in Yer State Birds. It’s kind of this thing I’ve been doing for a long time, but not everyone has seen this side of my music. I’m excited to release it and see what everyone thinks.
Q. Where did you find inspiration for the album?
A. Some of these songs have been around for a while, and some of them are fairly new. Some were written during my time in Alaska, others in Australia, some here, and the first song I ever wrote is on the album as well. They are written about the people and places I encountered along the way. I’m not really good at writing songs that aren’t biographical, so each one of these tunes tells a little story about my life in some way.
Q. Favorite song and why?
A. That’s a tough one — probably the title track “While We’ve Got the Time.” I remember writing it on the porch of this little shack I was living in up in Alaska in 2010. It seemed to all come at once. I think it was probably written in about five minutes.
Q. We understand this album had a lot of local collaboration — tell us about that.
A. Yes, a lot of great local musicians came in to play on the album and did a wonderful job. Local artist Kristina Petrash came up with the vision and executed the album cover, which turned out great. Most of it was recorded in Steamboat at First String Music. Steve Boynton has a really incredible studio. I really couldn’t have done it without his guidance and encouragement. I think that it’s difficult sometimes having to make a decision on something in the studio without a band there to bounce ideas off of, and Steve was great with that kind of stuff. If I have a crazy idea about something, he is willing to explore and experiment.
Q. Will we be able to see you perform anywhere in the near future?
A. Yes! At Schmiggity’s on March 17 and at The Press on March 27. I’ll be playing with John Miller of Yer State Birds, Dave Carroll of Trampled by Turtles, Pat Waters of Wish You Were Pink and Mike Martinez.
“While We’ve Got the Time” will be released March 1 on iTunes, Spotify and all streaming services and will be available for purchase on jradams.bandcamp.com.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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Explore a mix of events happening this weekend in Routt County.