Call him the comeback kid. Truth is, Jay Boy Adams is happy he was called, period. When you've been away from the music biz for 25 years, you're grateful if someone remembers your name. With a new album, The Shoe Box, perched high atop the Americana charts, this Texas troubadour is successfully reigniting a career he abruptly abandoned in 1982. Up to that point, he had chalked up two albums (one of which featured Jackson Browne) and acquired the management prowess of Bill Ham, the driving force behind that "little ole band from Texas," ZZ Top. Adams' friends nudged him back on stage ten years ago, and he hasn't left since, although it took another decade before he reentered a recording studio. Like its title implies, The Shoe Box is packed with music and memories, its rambling narratives, bluesy ballads, and blue-collar country relaying hard-bitten tales about the troubles and travails that accompany the life of an itinerant musician. In reality, the themes are universal expressions of what it's like to grow older, to face the inevitability of change and reconciliation with the past... blunders, blemishes, and all. Apparently, Steven Stills could relate; he chose Adams as his opening act and occasional accompanist. Adams shares a set with Stills at Sunfest, one of several Florida stops along his road to return.
Jay Boy Adams performs with Stephen Stills on Saturday afternoon, May 5, on the WaMu stage at Sunfest, 525 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Advance tickets cost $23 to $45 for one- to four-day passes. Call 561-659-5980, or visit www.sunfest.com.
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