Craig Adams is a singer, songwriter, and musician from Cleveland, Mississippi. Raised in the nearby riverside town of Rosedale, Adams is a writer with a knack for storytelling, and a musician capable of anything from raucous rockabilly to gentle folk ballads. He was surrounded by music as a child, and began playing guitar and writing his own songs by the age of twelve.
Inspired by masters of the craft like Bob Dylan, John Prine, Doug Sahm and more, Adams is a songwriter first and foremost. There is plenty to write about life in the Mississippi Delta, and he spells out those real-life stories and draws character sketches with ease. Paired with smart lyrics, the music certainly isn’t lacking—Adams is a proficient player, and his style is a perfect blend of rock, folk, and country, sometimes with an ambient or even psychedelic influence. His live shows can be intimate and introspective, and then “180” to driving, full-out rock and roll, bringing the audience along for an emotional ride.
For years, Adams has been playing gigs across the south. He has earned opening spots for Cary Hudson and the nationally-touring indie rockers Futurebirds. He appears regularly throughout Mississippi to share stages with Will Griffith (The Great Dying), bluesman Bill Abel, and up-and-coming singer/songwriter Schaefer Llana, and is a popular performer for local and regional fundraisers and charity events. His ventures have taken him as far as Austin, Texas, where he shared the stage with Kallie North (formerly of the soulful folk-rock duo Muddy Magnolias) at South by Southwest® in 2013.
In 2017, Adams released his debut album, High Note. This 8-song project is a shining example of Adams genre-fusing style; steel guitar and other traditional country instrumentation are constants, but ambient-sounding guitars, well-placed instrumental breaks, and uncommon song structure keep things interesting. This album also shows off Adams’ ability as a lyricist. “Whirlwind,” a plaintive, folky ballad, reveals the wrongs on both sides of a man who is “caught in a whirlwind between lovers who weren’t right.” Adams writes about men who can’t catch a break—the protagonist in “Short Stack” has had his heart stolen, and the gambler “Waiting for the Odds to Go Down” is in hot water with his wife (although, in his defense, “I can’t shoot a free throw if I don’t draw the foul”). “Queen of the Throttle” is a cool-sounding tribute to his former lover and their turmoiled relationship: “Together we’re less accurate than a sawed-off shotgun.” In the vivid and thought-provoking title track, “High Note,” Adams sings from the point of view of a disenchanted party-goer, stating his failure to “always leave the party on a high note.”
These disenchanted observations, sad stories, and tongue-in-cheek tributes only serve to further enchant the listener. Adams is an artist with words, and a master at weaving them with music that serves them well. This marriage of music and lyrics is a testament to his dedication to the craft, and his love for the people and places that inspire his songs. Regarding High Note, Boyce Upholt of Delta Magazine wrote, “There is something very ‘Rosedale’ about the album—an edge-of-things feel, songs from a small town along the Mississippi River, where it’s clear how the river’s flow connects dusty roads to a much bigger road.” Craig Adams is capable of spinning a multicolored, multi-textured, multi-dimensional yarn, and of bringing his listeners along for the ride.
To stay up to date with Craig Adams and his future projects, and to purchase his debut album, High Note, visit: 3hydrangeas.com