The Cardinals

As skipper of the Cardinals, Ryan Adams has made some moves like another noted Redbird: St. Louis baseball manager Tony La Russa. Adams tools with the group's lineup and modulates the game plan due to each player's strengths, though some of his methods can be confounding. Some incarnation of the Cardinals has backed Adams since 2004, but the soon-to-be-released Cardinology marks the first time that the singer has refused top billing. A famously mercurial performer, alternately ignoring his fans, berating them for their sins or making them sit through a set of Grateful Dead covers, Adams often confounds them by leaving many highlights of his dictionary-thick songbook unplayed. But his many fans stick with him for those moments of grace: an expertly turned phrase, soul-crushing dirge or effervescent jam that makes the whole experience worthwhile.

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