Ryan Adams

Guitarist and photographer Neal Casal played in Adams’ band The Cardinals for four years, documenting their work. VIEW OUR GALLERY of Casal’s favorite shots from his new book.

Neal Casal,1996-98 AccuSoft Inc., All rights reserved

Neal Casal

Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore

Mandy joined the Cardinals on tour in Australia and New Zealand just a few weeks before she and Ryan got married in March 2009. This was taken during a wait between flights at the Sydney airport.

Neal Casal

Jon Graboff on Tour Bus, Oasis Tour, Canada 2008

Jon Graboff is one of the finest all-around musicians working today, and such an integral part of the Cardinals sound. I found him here thinking it over on a 30-hour bus ride across Canada during our 2008 tour with Oasis.

Neal Casal

Ryan With Noel and Liam Gallagher, Backstage in Camden, N.J., December 2008

The Cardinals opened for Oasis for a couple of months in 2008, and this was one of the last shows of the tour. I'd been asking their management since the beginning if I could get a photo of Ryan, Noel, and Liam together, to no avail. Finally, I was told that I had a few seconds to get the photo just before they went onstage. So I waited for them in the hall, grabbed Ryan, and managed to shoot one frame. Liam already had his ear monitors on, the lights were down and the audience was going insane as I shot this photo.

Neal Casal

‘Cardinology’ Sessions, Part 1, July 2008

This was one of the most intense moments of recording Cardinology. We knew we were in the midst of a great record, but felt we were one song short of completeness. Sometimes it's really difficult coming up with that final, perfect song. This is Ryan, in the eleventh hour, digging deep for the tune that ends the record, "Stop."

Neal Casal

Chris "Spacewolf" Feinstein 1967-2009, Harlem, New York, Halloween 2008

It's every musician's dream to play the Apollo Theatre, and our moment had finally arrived.

Neal Casal

Ryan Backstage, Nottingham, England 2006

As a photographer, these are the moments you live for. The subject, setting, and light all line up for the perfect moment. Out of all the photos I've taken of Ryan, this still may be my favorite. As I was taking it, I knew it would be good, a rare thing for me--but I had no idea that it would later be chosen for the cover of Easy Tiger.

Neal Casal

Cardinology Recording Sessions, Part 2, Electric Lady Studios, New York, July 2008

Making records can be a nerve-racking experience. There's a lot at stake–your creativity, reputation, time, money, and legacy. You spend months beforehand writing all of these songs just hoping you'll hit the mark.There's a point in the recording process where you reach the moment of truth: Do you have the goods, or not? This was the point during the Cardinology sessions when we knew we were onto something great.

Neal Casal

Ryan and Henry Rollins, Backstage at the ‘Henry Rollins Show,’ Los Angeles 2006

Ryan and Henry Rollins talking punk roots and flashing their Black Flag bars.

Neal Casal

Ryan and Willie Nelson, Loho Studios, New York, 2005

Ryan had been asked to produce a record for Willie, with the Cardinals as his backing band. This was one of the first days of the sessions when these two guys were still sizing each other up.Although Ryan had respect for Willie, he was very much the irreverent punk who was not interested in bowing down to the living legend. Willie, on the other hand, has been a punk of his own for quite some time, and wasn't about to give up any ground to this youngster. A great locking of the horns ensued, and in between games of pool and drinking whiskey, we ended up making a pretty good record.

Neal Casal

Brad Pemberton on Tour Bus, Oasis Tour, Canada 2008

Brad Pemberton is Ryan's longest running band mate, a world-class drummer, and a true Southern gentleman. He's also one of the meanest chess players around. This photo was taken just after he'd beaten everyone in the band and cleared the bus of all opponents.

Neal Casal

A View of Other Windows