Faithless Street (1995)
by Whiskeytown
Moodfood Records - MFR 004-2 - 00/00/1995

In July 1995, Whiskeytown convened at the Funny Farm in Apex, North Carolina, with Greg Woods and began tracking their debut album. According to the band's principal singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, the band worked very fast and recorded the album in a week and a half. At least one song ("Hard Luck Story") was written in the studio and laid to tape just minutes later. As guitarist Phil Wandscher noted: "Oh yeah, it was always, how much can you do in this little time? It’s all basically live recording, and then it’s like, 'Overdubs? We don’t have time to overdub, man!' And a lot of times, that worked out better, because you don’t have time to mill around and think about it and then fuck stuff up." Wandscher would be the de facto producer of the sessions, although he's not specifically listed as such in the album credits.

Despite the intensity of the sessions, the band still found time to goof off. Violinist Caitlin Caryremembers getting drunk and riding a horse bareback across a nearby field, while other band members played around with firecrackers - which inspired Adams to later remark: "Out in the parking lot across the street... the Roman candles and Black Cats sounded a lot like I'd hope we'd one day sound - pretty little things all set on fire waiting to get destroyed."

[from Wikipedia]


1Midway Park (written by Ryan Adams, Skillet Gilmore, Phil Wandscher)
2Drank Like A River (written by Ryan Adams, Caitlin Cary, Phil Wandscher)
3Too Drunk To Dream (written by Ryan Adams, Robert E. Rickers Jr.)
4What May Seem Like Love (written by Phil Wandscher)
5Faithless Street (written by Ryan Adams, Caitlin Cary)
6Mining Town (written by Ryan Adams )
7If He Can't Have You (written by Ryan Adams, Skillet Gilmore)
8Black Arrow, Bleeding Heart (written by Ryan Adams)
9Matrimony (written by Caitlin Cary, Steve Grothmann)
10Hard Luck Story (written by Ryan Adams)
11Top Dollar (written by Phil Wandscher)
12Oklahoma (written by Ryan Adams, Phil Wandscher, Eric Gilmore, Steve Grothman, Caitlin Cary )
13Revenge (written by Ryan Adams, Phil Wandscher)


Performance statistics

TitleTimes playedDebutLast played
Midway Park611995-05-252005-06-08
Drank Like A River521995-01-152000-09-17
Too Drunk To Dream501995-11-181999-12-31
What May Seem Like Love61995-01-281996-05-25
Faithless Street271995-01-152005-06-08
Mining Town251996-01-262006-07-27
If He Can't Have You91995-05-251999-12-31
Black Arrow, Bleeding Heart21997-11-031999-12-31
Hard Luck Story101995-11-181999-12-31
Top Dollar41995-05-251996-11-27


Unlike subsequent Whiskeytown releases, Faithless Street features other band members besides Adams on lead vocals - Wandscher sings two songs ("What May Seem Like Love" and "Top Dollar") and Cary sings one ("Matrimony"). Lyrically, a few of Adams' songs on the album were influenced by his hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina. "Faithless Street" is the figurative name that Adams gave a low-rent housing area of Raleigh where he once lived.

The opening guitar figure on the album's first track ("Midway Park") was inspired by the guitar playing of Peter Buck.

The origin of the song "Lo-Fi Tennessee Mountain Angel (for Kathy Poindexter)" came from a conversation Adams had with Kathy Poindexter, who fronted a local Raleigh punk band named Picasso Trigger. Poindexter had recently written a song about Dolly Parton called "Lo-Fi Tennessee Mountain Angel". Adams loved the idea of someone writing a punk song about Parton so much that he wrote his own song about Poindexter.[

Adams' verdict on Faithless Street: "I think it’s a strong youth album. It’s crazy. It loves what it borrows from musically: It tips its hat to Gram Parsons, it tips its hat to the Stones, it’s shaking hands with Uncle Tupelo on some levels." The young songwriter, in fact, loved the album so much that he talked Geffen Records into buying it from Mood Food Records so that it could be reissued on Outpost three years later. 

Ryan Adams — guitar, vocals, producer, photography (trains, back cover)
Caitlin Cary — violin, vocals, producer, photography (small car)
Eric "Skillet" Gilmore — drums, producer
Steve Grothmann — bass, producer
Phil Wandscher — guitar, vocals, producer
Bob Ricker — pedal steel ("Faithless Street")
Chris Stamey — producer, mixing (1998 version)
Greg Woods — recording
Tim Harper — mixing (1998 version), recording (Baseball Park Sessions)
Nicholas Petti — accordion, banjo, pedal steel (Baseball Park Sessions)
Greg Calbi — mastering
Chris Billheimer — design
Melanie Bryan — cover photography, angel photography
Ray Duffy — band photography
Faithless Street sessions: recorded at the Funny Farm, Apex, NC
Baseball Park sessions: recorded at Captured Live!, Durham, NC
Reissue mixed at Modern Recording, July 1998
Mastered at Masterdisk