In the lead-up to his forthcoming album "Ashes and Fire," the ever-prolific singer-songwriter Ryan Adams released the lovely new single "Lucky Now" via his Soundcloud. After myriad ventures into more-or-less serious side projects and a well-regarded string of albums with his backing band the Cardinals, "Ashes" is a return to his standalone solo roots. He worked with producer Glyn Johns on it, after recording much of his best-regarded early work with Johns' son Ethan.
"Lucky Now" sports the bummed-out acoustic intimacy of his solo reputation-maker "Heartbreaker," but Johns gives it a California warmth worthy of Adams' commercial breakthrough "Gold." "I don't remember, were we wild and young?" he asks in the album's opening couplet. But the modest, light-dappled production soon gives way to the kind of lyrical detail that suggests Adams hasn't lost that young touch: "Waiting outside while you find your keys, like bags of trash in the blackening snow."
"Ashes and Fire" is out Oct. 11, and Adams plays the Henry Miller Library on Oct. 13.
Photo: Lawrence K. Ho. Credit: Los Angeles Times