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The Soul of Western Soul

If the Flying Burrito Brothers were all grown up, fronted by Guy Clark, and produced by Levon Helm, you’d almost have something like Todd Adelman’s new record, “Western Soul.” I’ve known Todd for almost 25 years, and I’ve heard just about everything he’s written over that time. Ernest Hemingway said that he “writes one page of masterpiece to 91 pages of shit.” I’ve watched Todd fill up more than a few wastebaskets. A bunch of the stuff that didn’t end up there found its way on to this album.

“Western Soul” puts the out-west sunset in the rearview mirror and sees it from a back-east perspective. Distance punctuates proximity. Youth yields to age. Substance overcomes flash. Subjects, like objects in the mirror, are closer than they appear. Todd tackles everything from the nuances of love to the craters created by death; from the everyday plight to get through the day, to the sad final flight of one-of-a kind; from friends (current, past, factual, and fictional) to the complexity and promise of family – songs written about them, for them and with them. Like good whiskey in an old barrel, Todd aged right before my ears. I guess I never noticed how seriously he was pondering the question he asks: “why are old guitars so proud of their age.”

Great records get better with time. I put this one in the CD player ten days ago and it’s still in there. Without really “listening”, I’ve noticed that a different song grabs my attention each time through. Whether it’s a lick, a lyric, a chord change or a rhythmic shift, something pulls you in. The musicianship is top shelf. The production is so simple that it’s nearly invisible. As I sat with a glass of aged whiskey, and a fresh copy of “Western Soul” – sure, I’d heard it all before – it was like meeting an old friend for the first time. When good gets better, it demands our attention. This record is a shining example of what happens when good enough is never good enough, when soul is never satisfied, and when commitment pays hard-earned dividends.

-Kevin DeForrest

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Press

“It almost seems effortless at this point. Todd Adelman has put forth five mind-blowing Americana albums over his career and his sixth album Time Will Tell comes off as equally sublime. The fact that it was recorded live in just three days conjures the images of a master painter in their studio deftly casting off quick museum-worthy sketches. Early on Adelman found the knack at blending poetic, folky lyrics with a 1970s AM radio amalgamation of rock and country — the real crux of which is his ability to never go too rock, too country or too folky, but to sit perfectly balanced on the fulcrum between the genres…”
Marquee Magazine

“Despite the fact he has six albums to his credit, each of which with a different ensemble, Colorado-based singer/songwriter Todd Adelman hasn’t gotten very much notice up until this point. It’s especially strange that he hasn’t struck more of a chord with Americana audiences, especially since his music brings to mind the weary resilience of such revered individuals as Gram Parsons, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and the grandaddy of them all, Hank Williams…”
Glide Magazine

“This is a superb recording. More John Prine than country, Adelman is a first rate songsmith with clever lines like, “I’m gonna love you til the color fades out of my eyes/til the sun turns black/heaven and earth collide.” Recorded live at the Mountain House in Nederland, Colorado, this is a thoroughly enjoyable disc — reminding us that there are many talented musicians just not getting the exposure they deserve. This clearly deserves that exposure…”
Roots Music Report

“…Which is what impresses me most about Time Will Tell. They aren’t out to bowl you over. They are just musicians doing what musicians do— playing— and they play more than well enough to make their mark. They have to to have made me think Cowboy because Reach For the Sky was more than just an album to me, I loved and love it so much. The more I hear Time Will Tell, the more I like it too. I might even love it some day. Time will tell how much. So far, so good.”
No Depression

I’ll call this one now … easily the BEST alternative country record of the year out of Colorado – and maybe the best alt-country record I’ve heard this past year, period. As I sit and listen to this record from beginning to end, yet one more time, what comes to mind is some of the best of Gram Parsons and absolutely among the best of Ryan Adams “country” records. Yes, this is heady company to place Todd’s voice and songs in, but it fits. I am instantly transported to my youth listening to the Byrd’s Sweethearts of the Rodeo, the Flying Burrito Brothers and then records like Whiskeytown’s Faithless Street in the early nineties. Had this record come out about the time of Steve Earle’s Exit 0 or Dwight’s Lookin’ for A Hit, or early Uncle Tupelo or Wilco, Todd would be a venerable heritage name today in the alt-country field. As it stands today, I’ll place this one high on the shelf of newly discovered lost rare gems of Americana/Alt-country-rock … it’s really really really that good. A solid “10”.
The Colorado Sound

Country Standard Time review of Time Will Tell

No Depression review of Time Will Tell

Roots Music Report review of Time Will Tell.

Mother Church Pew preview of Tired of Being Tired from Time Will Tell.

Glide Magazine review of Time Will Tell

Don and Sheryl’s Blues Blog review of Time Will Tell

Midwest Record review of Time Will Tell

BillyBob.be review of Time Will Tell

Marquee Magazine review of Highways and Lowways.

Mountain Music Arts & Culture

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