Adam Snyder stepped away from his position as keyboardist with New York-based group Mercury Rev to pursue folk music as a solo artist. He left the door open for his possible future return to the gregarious noise pop band while pursuing a new, gentler career avenue as a singer/songwriter.
Snyder joined Mercury Rev in 1994 and remained for about five years. He devoted a good part of two years to the band's tour in support of the 1998 album Deserter's Song. He stepped back from the hectic schedule to regroup in Kingston, NY, and write warmer and more intimate material along the lines of traditional folk. Many of the songs he has penned contain a story, and some convey childhood memories distilled through the eyes of experience. He cites as his major influences Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Woody Guthrie, and Greg Brown.
Following the mellower tradition of folk is a huge departure from life with the edgy and impulsive Mercury Rev, whose live antics made for memorable copy but not always reliable performances. The plug supplying the band's electricity was pulled during its Denver Lollapalooza gig because of extreme noise. Security ejected the group's soundman, first subduing him with a headlock. Other times, vocalist David Baker interrupted performances to snatch some liquid refreshment.
Undoubtedly Snyder's solo tour of Ireland as a folk artist was less outrageous. He put out a 7" shared with the 19th Bar, a Dublin-based group, for the tour. Volta Records, a new company out of Dublin, issued the release, which was a limited edition offered for sale only on the Irish tour stops. ~ Linda Seida