Or probably not. Yeah, probably not.
Who are the other contenders?
Off the top of my head…
and there’s probably many more that could be considered as we’re talking a timeline that spans over 45 years.
A few more
Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy)
Ian Felice is a damn fine songwriter.
There’s more great singer/songwriters out there.
Oh, I almost forgot…Weird Al.
Some top-notch names, here (Elvis Costello is British, though). Perhaps I should add Jack White, Sturgill Simpson and Mike Cooley (from DBT, who I regard as some reclusive, semi-godlike musical creature) .
While I particularly love the music by Earle, Felice, Isbell, Tweedy and Westerberg (plus the ones I mentioned), the only names I personally would say come close are Lucinda Williams or Jack White. But still …
Remember, these are my personal preferences, I am not trying to state some objective fact here – or annoy anyone.
Sorry, I ignored the American part. But, when I think of great singer/songwriters/musicians I tend to consider worldwide.
Ryan Adams is right up there though. His catalog from 1995-2005 is probably my all time favorite of any artist out there. All of it. Whiskeytown, solo, w/ The Cardinals. The official & “unofficial” albums. Easy Tiger to present? Not so much. But, I was pleasantly surprised with Big Colors & Wednesdays eventually grew on me. But, the best of his new stuff are the two bonus 7" singles that were released with Wednesdays.
Perhaps with the exception of the sessions that ET was based around – War & Peace, Star Wars, etc (some of which, of course, also appeared on III/IV) – which arguably could have been used for an incredible double-album. As I understand it, there are recorded versions of “Trouble on Wheels”, “Arkham Asylum”, “Judy Garland”, “Party Clown”, “Don’t Get Sentimental on Me”, “Temples of God”, just to name a few of the massive number of tracks that were recorded then (plus alternate mixes).
Never mind then.
I always considered Elizabeth Town Sessions as part of the 1995-2005 cannon. I don’t hate everything since Easy Tiger. I usually like a handful of songs off of each new album. I really liked the PaxAm singles series he released from 2014/2015. But, most it just pales in comparison to the stuff he did from the first Whiskeytown to the ET Sessions. That’s my opinion anyhow. Music is very subjective. There’s always the chance I revisit the stuff from 2007 to now & find myself liking it a bit more. I’ve found that tastes & opinions can change as we grow older.
I just ordered the new Felice Brothers from the Yep Roc website. There’s a limited edition vinyl that will have two exclusive bonus tracks included with the download code if anyone is interested.
Apparently, he re-recorded a lot from the Darkbreaker sessions during the ET sessions. A version of “Lighthouses” was up on YouTube for a while.
i would dare say jason isbell is a better writer than ryan adams.
ryan bingham is pretty special and, i think, an underrated song-writer. isakov and craigie are amazing songwriters too…
i don’t think anyone can touch ryan adams from WT to Gold ERA…that output and level of “genius” songwriting is up there with some bob dylan, van morrison, springsteen stuff
his writing felt so naturally mature and smart…now it comes off as forced and uninspired.
yep, fuck ryan adams.
and yeah, i love shining through the dark…another gem
townes van zandt
Ditto on Craigie & Isakov
Right. But he’s not “post Springsteen.”
But, is he “Post” Malone
He’s never really mentioned in the great songwriter conversations. But, Frank Black/Black Francis has written a bunch of great songs in my opinion. His musical stylings never really seemed to fit the genre of singer/songwriter though.
I consider David Hidalgo of Los Lobos a better songwriter.
Tom Waits, certainly much better.
Adams was pretty good back in the day, but I haven’t loved anything he’s written in the last 15 years.
Tom Waits is the shit.