Ryan Adams

One of the most complex artists to emerge from the alt-country scene, Ryan Adams has been roundly recognised as one of the most talented songwriters of his generation whilst also enduring no little criticism for - of all things - his prolific output.

Displaying no sign of his creative well running dry, the 33-year-old has released nine official studio albums in a seven-year career as a solo artist. 'Unofficially' a further 11 albums of songs (the majority of which have never been released) can be found on the internet; while an additional 18 albums worth of experimental hip-hop, dance and punk-country have appeared online under various pseudonyms.

In all, since 2000, Adams has made at least 38 albums available for public consumption, as well as various EPs, whilst also producing albums by Willie Nelson and Jesse Malin. This is without even mentioning the three albums he made with Whiskeytown between 1994 and 2001.

Born David Ryan Adams on 5 November 1974, Adams was raised by his mother and grandmother in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Obsessed with The Smiths, Jack Kerouac and Edgar Allan Poe, he dropped out of school aged 16, electing that days spent rehearsing with various bands were of more benefit to him than hours spent in a classroom.

By 1994 he had formed alt-country band Whiskeytown, a band that would prove to be one of the genres most influential and acclaimed acts despite lasting only five years.

Going through numerous line-up changes during this period, Adams garnered as much of a reputation for being difficult to work with as he did for his excellent songwriting

When Whiskeytown finally split in 1999, Adams went solo and recorded arguably his finest work to date over 14 days in Nashville - 'Heartbreaker'.

Sparse and deeply heartfelt, here was the sound of post-break up, crying-in-your-beer regret. Within a year of 'Heartbreaker's release (September 2000) Adams had readied its follow-up, the sprawling 'Gold', which saw him shoot into the mainstream thanks to lead single 'New York, New York', which (bleakly fortuitously) was accompanied by a video of Adams performing to the backdrop of the Twin Towers on 7 September 2001.

Post 9/11, the video became an MTV staple and catapulted Adams into the mainstream.

Fighting against such a rise in popularity, Adams' follow-up 'Love Is Hell' was rejected by his label as being "too depressing" and "not commercially viable". His response was to record a dumb stadium rock album, 'Rock N'Roll', which was reportedly recorded in just two days and released as his third solo album.

'Love Is Hell' eventually emerged in 2004 and by the end of 2005 the prolific Adams had released three more albums with 'Cold Roses' (a double album), 'Jacksonville City Nights' and '29'.

Adams' most recent album, 'Easy Tiger', has proved his most successful in the US and has coincided with a major lifestyle change. Having reportedly endured alcohol, cocaine, heroin and various other addictions, he is now clean living.

He has also begun to turn a corner as a live performer, having been a hit-and-miss live act in the past. As for the future, his prolificacy shows no sign of letting up. A box-set and two new albums are due for release in 2008.