Interview: Peter Bradley Adams

Photo: Heidi Ross

Birmingham native and Nashville-based singer/songwriter Peter Bradley Adams has lived life on both coasts, with family roots that stretch to the Music City. His brand of heartfelt country dashes the notion that Americana lives in one particular geographical region. “You hear people from all over the country who have a more Americana, Appalachian sound. I lived in New York for a few years, and they had more of an old-time music scene than we do here,” he says. “You can hear it everywhere, it’s an ancient-sounding music, it’s timeless, and spans cultures. You can’t explain why you sound the way sound, it’s just kind of magical,” he adds. “It’s what resonates with you.”

Adams has music embedded in his DNA; with professional musicians in various familial generations, he spent his formative years immersed in it all. “I also obsessively listened to records as a kid, I took refuge in music, even as a child,” he explains. “Music was just what I wanted to do.” Classically-trained on piano, Adams began composing, pursued a degree at the University of Southern California, and went to work writing for television. “It was soul-crushing work. I wanted to write things that meant something to me,” he says. “In 2000, I finally hit the wall and did what I wanted to do.”

Recently, he released a new album, A Face Like Mine, his sixth solo effort, which has already garnered well over 1 million plays on Spotify. The self-produced record tells a tale of love, loss, home, and hearts all set to the gentle guitar and subtle banjo sound for which Adams has become known. “An album comes about when there is a batch of songs that has survived my process,” he laughs. “Lyrically, things come organically. I don’t really sit down and decide I’m going to write a song about a person, I envy people who can do that sometimes. I just let it rise up and see where it goes. There are pieces of my life in my songs, but I want them to be bigger than just my life,” he adds. “Even making up characters for songs requires you to draw upon your own experiences, I rarely have a song that’s a confessional, journal entry kind of song.”

“It’s the first record that I feel like sounds like ‘me,’” Adams continues. “As a singer, I’m just now starting to sound like myself. There was a lot of being afraid and inhibited before, I felt like I had to have this certain sound. Now, I’m letting go of that,” he says. “I’m still getting there.”

Purchase A Face Like Minehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-face-like-mine/id1217457081

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Susan Hubbard

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