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Adams dropped out of high school at age 16 to work in a shoe shop and make music. He formed a band named Whiskeytown in 1994; they disbanded in 1999 having released two full albums, Faithless Street and Stranger's Almanac. Adams went on to put out his first solo record, Heartbreaker, in 2000. After a long delay, in 2001 Whiskeytown's third album Pneumonia was finally issued.
Ryan is highly prolific, and in 2005 released one double album and two regular albums: Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights and 29, respectively. His latest album, 29, is produced by friend Ethan Johns (who also produced his first two albums Heartbreaker and Gold. In between those two releases and his 2005 triple-header, Ryan released Demolition (a collection of out-takes), Love Is Hell and Rock'n'Roll. Unreleased studio albums include 48 Hours, Exile on Franklin Street,The Suicide Handbook .
In addition, Adams worked with Jesse Malin to form the punk-rock group The Finger (under the pseudonyms, "Warren Peace" and "Irving Plaza" respectively), who released two E.P.s which were collected together to form We Are Fuck You, released on One Little Indian Records in 2003.
In 2006 Ryan went on a minor UK-tour and a minor US-tour along the west-coast and has streamed 11+ mini albums on his website, under numerous jokey pseudonyms (DJ Reggie, Werewolph, The Shit, Rhoda Ro, Ghetto Birds).
His latest record, entitled Easy Tiger, is scheduled for release on June 26, 2007.
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