Press

Press for Sky Blue DeVille

“The last time we heard from the Athens-based Americana musician Adam Klein, he was promoting a project of original, traditional-style Malian Mande songs performed in the Bambara language, a latter-day Graceland that met the indigenous artists more than halfway. This time around he’s preparing to release a new album, Sky Blue DeVille, a more rocking Americana album featuring a warm, luxurious sound anchored by The Wild Fires’ ace lead guitarist Crash Cason and guest Southern rock legends Randall Bramblett and Ike Stubblefield on organ and keys. Of course, all would be for naught without Klein’s signature evocative, nostalgia-tinged songs and vocals, both of which earn favorable comparisons to contemporaries like Romantica and Josh Ritter.”- K. Peterson. Columbia Free Times

“Calls to mind Memphis soul, Elvis Presley, great songwriters like Steve Forbert and Willie Nile, and good old-fashioned American folk. It’s clear that Adam Klein is the real thing and his new record is spot on.”- Michael Verity’s Americana Minute

Assured and genuinely affecting widescreen Americana
“In a world awash with mediocrity, it is rare to hear an album of genuine originality operating within the very tight focus of generally accepted musical form. This is not the experimenting of Tweedy or indeed the slick production values of the Dawes with their laurel Canyon Nu Americana. This album is absolutely everything that is expected from an American “Americana” album . Wurlitzer, strummed guitars, lyrics about cheap motels, driving in the rain and being stoned in a southern way, Hammond B3 organ, keening fiddles and piano flourishes… Particular highlights are the title track with its beautiful restraint and simultaneous abandon, “In a Southern Way” a gentle lollop through reflections on home and the nature of where home is. Klein’s voice finding emotion without grandstanding, “Highway of Your Love” features some outstanding gospel organ from the legendary Ike Stubblefield. This is a wonderful album that completely reinforces the faith one has in a particular genre. Honesty, strength and musical heft. Great.”- Keith Hargreaves, Americana UK

“There’s a vulnerable resonance in Adam Klein’s voice, an intimate warmth in his delivery, the palpable sincerity in his songwriting, that will burrow itself within your personal space without you even noticing, at least not before you’re already absorbed in it. Sky Blue DeVille… is a slow-burner that feels better the more it plays.”- Jeff Clark, Stomp & Stammer

“Adam Klein claims an Athens, GA, address for his mail but the songs on Sky Blue DeVille feel more like the letters have been forwarded to Laurel Canyon. Adam Klein & The Wild Fires warm themselves in the glow of California Country in the vein of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers… Lazy rhythms live on Sky Blue DeVille. The Wild Fires anchor the songs with a gentle sway that welcome horns on “Goodnight Nobody”, violin on “Days to Come” and Randall Bramblett’s keyboard magic on the title track and “In A Southern Way”.- The Alternate Root

“Does anyone remember when Wilco was a real, dyed-in-the-wool country band? In their first release as a unit, Adam Klein & The Wild Fires come awfully close to invoking some of the early period of the mega-band’s output. Sure, there is certainly less grovel in Klein’s voice than in Tweedy’s, but the songwriting on Sky Blue DeVille (and on the title track in particular) is reminiscent of A.M.- to Summerteeth-era Wilco… the album spotlights a singer-songwriter who knows that restraint is often just as important as showing off one’s instrumental prowess. As a result, listeners might also hear the spirit of Big Star’s Alex Chilton living on in many of these songs.”- Dan Mistich, Flagpole Magazine

“… nine songs of clean, winsome but lonely Americana and country soul… Sky Blue DeVille, at its most tender and honest, reflects the calm genius of Lyle Lovett’s Pontiac.”- Andre Gallant, Athens Banner Herald

“[Klein] has embraced the new paradigm of Southern rock trailblazed by the likes of The Drive-by Truckers and Jason Isbell… there’s an almost naïve sincerity to his style: no edge, no attitude, just a wide-eyed enthusiasm for all the wonders the world has to offer… Even with his voice at centre stage, Adam and his co-producer Bronson Tew have put everything at the service of making something with atmosphere, and in that they have succeeded wonderfully. A big brass section here, some intense Hammond organ there – it all fits together nicely, and can embrace the sweet, light bounce of “Where Our Love Is” as easily as the swelling drama of “Goodnight Nobody”… an immensely accomplished record, certainly amongst my favourites from this year.”- John Davy, Flyin Shoes

“Adam Klein has been kicking it around the Athens GA music scene for years. He’s released several solo records, including one filled with Malian music (that’s another story) but Sky Blue DeVille is his first with a band, The Wild Fires, and it’s easily his best yet. The songs on Sky Blue DeVille are dusty and wind-blown numbers with more than their fair share of longing and restlessness. One of the themes Klein includes in all of his records is a nostalgia of times gone by, either 10 years or a hundred, both in the lyrics and in the instrumentation. Musically there are nods in the Son Volt direction but Klein’s lyrics are much more concrete than the majority of Farrar’s lyrics. More like short stories than songs. These songs are less rocking then a lot of the stuff we usually write about but they’re still high-quality and it’s criminal that Sky Blue DeVille isn’t a big hit with the No Depression website crowd. What they lack in rock Adam Klein & The Wild Fires more than make up with smoothness and execution. It’s a record you should be listening to.”- Charles Hale, Nine Bullets

“Adam Klein, an Athens-based singer-songwriter, is releasing his new album, “Sky Blue Deville,” next month. The title track is decidedly Americana, but there are welcome country inflections and the song beckons a slow dance.”- Otis Taylor, ‘Pick of the Week’, The State

“Athens, Ga., singer-songwriter Adam Klein is a veteran troubadour with a touch for sensitive, pop-tinged folk. The title track of his fifth album, Sky Blue DeVille, shows his knack with metaphors and gift for rich imagery; he compares a woman’s love to a card game and conjures memories of a bygone era.”- Spencer Griffith, Indy Week “Top Pick”

“Really nice smooth guitar-driven music that sounds something like Chris Stamey if he were playing twenty-first century Americana pop… Nine groovy tracks here and every one of them is a keeper. Our favorites include “Sky Blue Deville,” “In A Southern Way,” and “Highway Of Your Love”.”- Babysue.com

“The Athens, GA-based Klein writes songs that have a nice spaciousness to them. These are rock songs that are filled with a mountain air, all the more so from the longing in Klein’s voice.”- Mayer Danzig, Twangville

Country Fried Rock (interview/podcast)/ Tranquilo Traveler (article)/ Athens Banner Herald (article)/ Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine April Trail Mix

Press for Dugu Wolo

“Klein’s natural tendency as a songwriter is to lean into the dusty and rustic, playing acoustic country with a folk influence. His 2006 debut Distant Music and 2008 follow-up Western Tales & Trails find a songwriter with an easy grip on storytelling and American traditions… Though Klein may be a fish out of water- or a log in a Malian river- he’s found a way to bridge the inspiration he feels in rural West Africa with the sense of community Athens is known for.”
- Chris Hassiotis, Georgia Music Magazine

“Damn good… clean, intimate, and thoroughly inclusive— a work that transcends not only genre, but also geography and culture. Dugu Wolo would fit comfortably as background music in a coffee shop in Athens, GA or a marketplace in Tombouctou, Mali.”
- Carrie Dagenhard, Flagpole Magazine

“A remarkably soulful record, leaving a warm glow in its wake… there is a sublime beauty to the interplay of instruments.. a rather beautiful piece of work.”
- John Davy, Flyin Shoes

“Klein, while singing in Bambara, sounds natural, comfortable. He sounds like who he is: an American deeply steeped in West African music… [Dugu Wolo is] a bridge between two worlds.”
- Scott Stevens, SoundRoots

“Anyone interested in the guitar and blues sounds of Boubacar Traore, Lobi Traore, Ali Farka Toure, Salif Keita, and Toumani Diabate, among others, will find joy and solace in this amazing collection of songs”
- Matthew Forst, Inside World Music

“A beautiful combination of blues, jazz, and acoustic folk with traditional Mandinka music… Dugu Wolo is a piece of music art. “
-Johan Schoenmakers, Altcountryforum

“Purity and tranquility radiate from this album… stunning.”
-Yvo Zels, Rootstime

Dugu Wolo… is the highest of concepts, total anthropology, not just wearing the clothes of another culture, but learning to sew the garments as well.”- Andre Gallant, Athens Banner Herald

“His music crosses boundaries… Dugu Wolo is a satisfying album that will be enjoyed by fans of Malian blues.”
-Angel Romero, World Music Central

“For his latest album, Athens’ Americana singer-songwriter Adam Klein went pretty far out of his range — all the way to Mali, where he recorded Dugu Wolo with indigenous talent, singing mostly in the native language, Bambara. Klein’s laid-back approach to vocals suits this scenario nicely, with the results sounding like Amos Lee covering Nana Vasconcelos. When he’s not forging musical alliances in Africa, Klein is heavily involved in the still vital Athens music scene; he’s the co-founder of the Athens Americana music festival..”
-Kevin Oliver, Columbia Free Times

The Huffington Post (Article)/ Flagpole Magazine (Article)/ Worldview Magazine (Article)/ Athens Banner-Herald (Article) /Red & Black (Article)/ Africa is a Country (Blog)/ Afropop Worldwide (Blog)/ Scrambler (Blog)

Praise for Wounded Electric Youth

Wounded Electric Youth is a bold move for Adam Klein… one of the finest albums of the year. This is a treasure trove of song writing. Klein displays a sense of subtlety rare in the ego driven world of the modern music scene. The art of storytelling which was so prominent in Klein’s last album “Western Tales and Trails” is again present here and comes to the fore in “Of Pirates and Vagabonds”, while the imagery and colour portrayed throughout the album is a delight. “12th and Porter” brings the album to a close as if at the end of a long, but wholesome journey… Classy. It is a confident and assured step forward for Klein…”
- Americana UK (9*)

Short list for best album of the year.. a songwriter and interpreter in a state of grace and constant growth, a name to follow absolutely.”
- Roots Highway

“One step further in his artistic evolution… Klein is a brilliant songwriter and storyteller… [Wounded Electric Youth]’s beauty and strength lie in the quiet, subtle narrative work which manages to touch your deepest soul.”
- Rootstime

“With Athens, Georgia-based songwriter Adam Klein’s well-executed third release, Adam takes us through a variety of songs, several stemming from the wonder and angst in finding the right girl in achingly poignant vignettes, yet bolstered by his rough-tinged and rootsy musical backdrop. Alongside this exploration are songs like “Wayward Son,” where he takes off as the wanderer in search of his own truth, and in the opening cut knows how to celebrate and relax into the joys of a southern summer life with “Driftin’”. Klein steps a bit more outside of himself with the melodically captivating and sung “Of Pirates and Vagabonds”– dipping back into history and into the English & Celtic traditions of sea ballads. I’m assuming he made it up to Nashville for the evocative “12th & Porter” where an “old wood guitar plays and everybody sings along” and where the likes of Mindy Smith cut her musical teeth. Expertly packaged, from concept to the nostalgic packaging and artwork, Adam Klein has found his footing and firmly established himself as an artist on the rise.”
- Kari Estrin, Sing Out! Magazine

“Balanced.. Klein’s songwriting is evocative.. the devil’s in the details they say and this recording has that in spades.”
- Beat Surrender

“Adam Klein is a singer/songwriter with a rural sound (dig that Harvest-era pedal steel!) and a Dylan/Earle sense of poetic lyricism”
- Connect Savannah

“Covers the entire idiom, ranging from country soul to country-pop, rustic country folk to light-gritty country rock.”
- Altcountry.nl

“Music of warmth and character.. a gentle treat for ravaged souls.”
- Flyin Shoes

“A combination of Americana, folk rock, and indie pop, singer-songwriter Adam Klein’s third release is lighthearted and nostalgic, putting forth the theme of introspection and soul-searching through picture-painted storytelling… The bold production, luminous melodies, and engaging anecdotes of summertime (“Driftin’”), unrequited love (“Anna, You Were Supposed to be Mine”), and subsequent longing (“Wayward Son”), along with vibrant imagery in the realm of Ryan Adams, Tim Easton, and Matt the Electrician are among the multitude of positive attributes that make Wounded Electric Youth an absolute pleasure to listen to… A beautiful effort, natural-born storyteller Klein has crafted a cohesive, elaborate, and expertly layered coming-of-age document.”
- Performer Magazine

“Although the roots renaissance has been riding in on some degree of pop experimentations, the results that I’ve heard remain largely purist. While the country and bluegrass crowd continues to dangle their toes into the pool of pop, Klein has calmly walked past them and dived directly into the deep end with all his clothes still on. ‘Tired Afternoon (Out For Love)’ has all the mellow markings of a mid-1970s Neil Young or James Taylor – soft, lush, spacious… The bouncing melody and female harmonies in ‘To Be A Loner’ shine like a beacon to lure the more purist roots artists deeper into pop waters. Anything that sounds this fun has to be good for you! But purists aren’t so easily lured. Meeting them half way, Klein shows them he is capable of the most haunting traditionals while keeping his pop hat on in the 7+ minute epic, ‘Of Pirates & Vagabonds’.”
- Basement Rug

“Southern living is good living. Backyard barbecues, little league baseball, red clay dirt, and porch swings. The days are warm, the nights are warmer, and good vibes abound. Such is the mood conjured by Athens, Georgia-based singer-songwriter Adam Klein on his latest release, Wounded Electric Youth. Singing in a warm, rich voice and backed by near-perfect musicianship, Klein anchors these 12 tracks around an air of familiarity, providing the soundtrack for a day of southern, small-town sampling. Klein echoes his alt-country influences-“Anna (It Was Supposed to be Me)” and “Griffin’s Song” breeze along like Steve Earle deep cuts, “Call My Name” and “Wayward Son” recall recent Son Volt, and the delicate wordplay of “Fairy Tale” brings to mind Josh Ritter. Klein also takes a couple of detours from the song’s rustic themes and peers into his protagonists’ wounded psyche who pine for lost love, last goodbyes, and final shots at redemption. It is with these themes that Klein’s lyrics ring truest… Like his influences, Klein’s characters know that beneath the cheerful veneer of southern hospitality there is sometimes pain and longing that needs to escape. With Wounded Electric Youth, Klein illustrates this concept well.”
- Glide Magazine

“Free and easy, like a hybrid between Amos Lee and Jackson Browne.”
- Le Cri du Coyote

Wounded Electric Youth delivers some great tunes in the style of the Jayhawks and early Whiskeytown.”
- Maverick Magazine (UK)

Praise for Western Tales & Trails

“Brilliant album”
- Rootsville

“Compelling stories from a gifted storyteller… Klein has found a rich vein of songwriting material and mined it with extraordinary skill… incredible stuff, a distillation of wide and tasteful influences that still manages to speak in its own compelling voice… recalling Paul Simon but imbued with the wide eyed spirit of Neil Young”
- Americana UK

“[Klein’s] star is on the rise… This troubadour from Athens, Georgia, plays Americana, country, and folk rock once again set to beautiful lyrics, often much avowed and strikingly poetic. Townes Van Zandt, Mark Olson, Steve Earle and Josh Ritter come to mind spontaneously upon listening to Klein’s soul-moving performance.”
- CtrlAltCountry

“[S]urprisingly strong album by the young singer-songwriter from Athens, Georgia… Klein succeeds in leaving behind a great impression through finely detailed lyrics and an excellent accompanying band… Storytelling is an art which Klein masters”
- Kindamuzik

“His songs… fall squarely in the storytelling tradition of such gifted writers as Townes Van Zandt and David Olney. Listening to the Athens, Georgia, artist’s material is sometimes like stepping into a sepia-toned photograph, or through the swinging doors of a saloon.”
- Russell Hall, No Depression

“Adam Klein serves up nicely-done, understated Americana… evokes prime Band and later-period Byrds”
- Jeff Clark, Stomp & Stammer

“Klein’s got the grit of a seasoned pro as he pays homage to a time long past with impeccable charm and grace.”
- Alec Wooden, Athens Blur Magazine

“Western Tales & Trails is a mix of dark lyrics, surrounded by an upbeat tempo, and Jim White vocal styling”
- Lithium Radio

Praise for Distant Music

“On Distant Music, Adam Klein plays his role of a singer-songwriter who isn’t quite folk, and isn’t quite alt.country, but rather nestled nicely between the two. With the sweet opener, “St. Paul,” he walks that fine line and ends up with a sound resembling Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner. On the acoustic-laced “Restless Soul” and the barren “Dusty Rose” he works in the vein of Tim Easton or others of that fine ilk. Klein rarely ventures out of this comfort zone, instead nailing tunes like “Full Moon Night” out of the park with its subtle pedal steel accents. It’s the sort of music you’d hate to hear in a bar because people would be idiotically talking over tunes such as “Visions Of Faith” with its close, hushed feeling running throughout it. The same can be said for “Truck Stop Love,” the somewhat warm and folksy “Walkin’” that shines bright, and the Nebraska-ish album highight, “Bound To Roam.” Distant Music is a great album, but one that will sadly fall under most people’s radar.”
- Glide Magazine

“… an engaging debut that’s as reliable and uncomplicated as a stout cup of coffee. It’s a fun, unpretentious batch of originals that suits this decade as well as any of the previous four.”
- Flagpole Magazine

“Distant Music… holds enough quality to grow into a leading roll of its genre.”
- JacobVisser.nl

“What a beauty! With thirteen songs this newcomer is already keeping us for days in a spell of wonder… With closed eyes it is not difficult to picture exactly what the songwriter means to convey. Just imagine Klein, for the occasion accompanied by his acoustic guitar, sitting at dusk at the banks of the Niger, plucking away at his instrument and timidly breaking the silence with newly arranged tunes.”
- Ctrlaltcountry.be

“Beautiful, thrilling… sincere narratives. [Klein] brings a pure song with a rare sincerity and intensity seldom heard in today’s music”
- Freddy Celis, Rootstime

“Klein is exploring standard themes common to most songwriters. However, the fact that his songs are so obviously well-crafted, and the fact that his presentation— an engaging voice and quiet, acoustic country meets early-Dylanesque folk arrangements— ensures that Klein rises above the pack.”
- Sing Out!

“Klein has a poet’s soul”
- Frank Gutch, Jr., Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

“… an album steeped in the cosmic cowboy music of the late 1960s to early 1970s. Think Neil Young’s loping country beat from Harvest and the harmonies of The Band. You can hear familiar echoes of musicians like Woody Guthrie, Guy Clark and Bob Dylan… As with Dylan during his domestic period (1968-74), Klein’s songs reflect a life being lived… one part Planet Waves and one part Travels with Charlie.”
- Warren McQuiston, Southeast Performer Magazine