Ryan Adams Does Dio's "Holy Diver"
As the queue of local artists itching to lay down covers forms to the left, our weekly feature Covering Tracks returns with a live performance from Ryan Adams.The mercurial former frontman of alt-country (remember that?) icons Whiskeytown is certainly known for genre-bending. In his solo career, he's been a troubadour, a post-punk and even a metalhead, releasing several songs under the Werewolph moniker and issuing a wax-only metal concept album, Orion.
Seems his infatuation with metal is deep-rooted, with covers of Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years" and Ratt's "Round and Round" in his catalog. Adams' most recent homage was at the close of an acoustic show in Los Angeles last week. After some banter with the crowd, he referenced "a massive hero to me" who was "just a genius and like a blindingly good person."
And whom was he referring to? None other than the late, great Ronnie James Dio.There's some initial confusion from the crowd, who don't know if he's being ironic, but this is a deadly serious take on the Dio classic "Holy Diver."
Something about Adams' deft finger picking and gravelly vocals takes these devil-horns-raising anthems and turns them into beautiful, mournful ballads. Just goes to show that a damn good song is a damn good song.